HomeBad Ass AsiansCongress could have its first Korean American in two decades

Congress could have its first Korean American in two decades

Robert Lee AhnFormer city commissioner Robert Lee Ahn will be the first Korean American in Congress in 20 years if he wins a June runoff election in Los Angeles.

According to NBC, Ahn will face off against state Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez for an open U.S. House seat in the 34th Congressional District in California. Both candidates are Democrats who secured the two runoff spots among a field of nearly two dozen candidates, 19 of which were Democrats.

Although Ahn trailed behind Gomez in the first contest on Tuesday, garnering 19 percent of the vote to Gomez’s 28 percent, he has emphasized having the capability to represent Korean Americans at the federal level as meaningful.

“Especially with everything happening on the Korean peninsula [and] the dangers presented by North Korea, we need to have a Korean American person in Congress,” Ahn said to the Los Angeles Times.

John Yi, president of the Korean American Democratic Committee, was at the election night party for Ahn, whom he hopes will reach the national stage.

“[This election] is a show of force for our community, which people have undervalued,” Yi said. “We need a seat at the table in the decision-making process.”

Gomez is Latino and the race will showcase the growing political power of both the Asian and Latino communities.

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