HomeAsian AmericansDean Tran Becomes First Vietnamese American Elected to Massachusetts State Senate

Dean Tran Becomes First Vietnamese American Elected to Massachusetts State Senate

Dean Tran was sworn in as a Massachusetts state senator on Wednesday after winning a special election held on Dec. 5 to replace Jennifer Flanagan, who resigned after being appointed to the Cannabis Control Commission.

The 42-year-old Republican occupies the Worcester-Middlesex seat after defeating his closest competitor, Democrat Susan A. Chalifoux Zephir by 675 votes, according to Worcester Telegram

Prior to his election, Tran served as city councilor for Fitchburg since 2005 and was the first minority to hold elected office in the city, Sentinel & Enterprise reports. He has resigned from that position and intends to resign from his job as senior manager at a software development company in order to serve as senator.

Tran will become the seventh Republican in the state senate, the highest number since 1999.

He joins a long list of Asian Americans elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature.  In 2016, it was publicly announced that the State House had created its first Asian American caucus.

“We are the first Chinese, the first Japanese, the first female, and the first and only Cambodian elected to a state or federal position in the United States,” according to an op-ed written by Tackey Chan, one of the caucus’ five members.

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