HomeAsian AmericansVote 2018: Asian Americans Pacific Islanders Stepping Up and Speaking Out

Vote 2018: Asian Americans Pacific Islanders Stepping Up and Speaking Out


Views from the Edge

A record number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for political office this year.

They are running for Congress, governor, state offices, city councils and school boards, shattering the quiet, apolitical, don’t-make-waves stereotype often associated with AAPI communities.

Many are running for the first time, leaving their comfort zones and daring to step into the public arena to make a difference. They are social workers, teachers, doctors, business people and veterans.


A lot of them are women, inspired by the Women’s March and the GOP’s attacks on women’s health.

For many first-timers, surveys have shown that opposition to Donald Trump and his extremist policies have spurred them to action.

You can check out this voting guide from APIA Vote here.

You can watch this panel discussion with APIA Vote Executive Director Christine Chen and other people of color about the role and importance of the minority vote.

Trump’s obvious lack of experience have given many novice politicians the confidence to run for office. “One unintended effect of Donald Trump is that he has alleviated fears of people who thought they were unqualified for office,” said Sayu Bhojwani, founder of New American Leaders, an organization that trains immigrants and their descendants to run for office.

Hawaii, with the the AAPI population in the majority, has the most candidates running for federal and state offices. California, with the largest AAPI population in the nation, making up about 13 percent of the electorate, comes in second.

I tried the best I can to gather the names of all the AAPI candidates running for state or federal offices.Unfortunately, it would be nearly impossible to get all the names of all the AAPI candidates running for local elections: school boards, city councils or county positions. That would expand the list into the hundreds.

Following is the list of AAPI candidates (incumbents and neophytes) on the ballots this November 6.
APIAVote Planning
Anita Malik, (D) Congress, District 6, Arizona
Tipirni Hiral, (D) Congress, District 8, Arizona

Chintan Desai, (D), Congress, 1st District

Kevin de Leon (D), U.S. Senate
Doris Matsui, (D), Congress, 6th District
Ami Bera, (D), Congress, 7th District,
Ro Khanna, (D)Congress, 17th District,
Judy Chu, (D), Congress, 27th District,
Ted Lieu, (D), Congress, 33rd District
Kenneth Mejia, (Green) Congress, 34th District
Mark Takano, (D), Congress,  41st District,
T.J. Cox, (D) Congress, 21st District
Albert Janz, (D) Congress, 22nd District
Ammar Campa-Najja, (D) Congress, 50th District, San Diego
Cristina Osmena,  Congress, (R) 14th District
David Min, Congress, (D) 45th District
Young Kim,(R) Congress, 38th District
betty Yee, (D) Controller
Fiona Ma (D) Treasurer
Harry He (D) 9th District
David Chiu (D) Assembly, 17th District
Rob Bonta (D) Assembly, 18th District
Phil Ting (D) Assembly, 19th District
Christina Laskowski (R) Assembly, 22nd District
Kansan Chu (D) Assembly,  25th District
Evan Low (D) Assembly, 28th District
Vince Fong (D) Assembly, 34th District
Ed Chau (D) Assembly, 49th District
Kevin Hee Young Jang (D) Assembly, 53rd District
Al Muratsuchi (D) Assembly, 66th District
Steven S. Choi (R) Assembly, 68th District
Tyler Diep (R) Assembly, 72nd District
Philip Kim (D) State Senate, 4th District
Richard Pan (D) State Senate, 6th District
Mike Eng (D) State Senate, 22nd District
Peter Choi (D) State Senate, 23rd District
Janet Nguyen, (R) State Senate, 34th District

Peter Yu, (R), Congress, 2nd District


William Tong (D), Attorney General

Stephanie Murphy (D), Congress, 7th District
Jennifer Mijares-Zimmerman, (D) Congress, 1st District

Sam Park, (D) State House, 101st District

David Ige (D), Governor
Mazie Hirono, (D) U.S. Senate
Tulsi Gabbard, (D) Congress, 2nd District
Kaiali’i Kahele (D) State Senate, 1st District
Dru Kanuha, (D) State Senate, 3rd District
Lorraine Inouye (D) State Senate, 4th District
Melissah Shishido (Green) State Senate, 6th District
Jamie Kalani English , D) State Senate, 7th District
Breene Harimoto , (D) State Senate, 16th District
Clarence Nishihara, (D) State Senate, 17th District
Michelle Kidani (D) State Senate, 18th District
Maile Shimabukuro  (D) State Senate, 21st District
Jarrett Keohokalole (D) State Senate, 24th District

Mark Nakashima (D) State House, 1st District
Grace Manipol-Larson (R) State House, 2nd District
Richard Onishi (D) State House, 3rd District
Joy San Buenaventura (D) State House, 4th District
Troy Hashimoto (D) State House, 8th District
Jen Kamaho’i Mather  (Green) State House, 10th District
Nadine Nakamura (D) State House, 14th District
James Tokioka (D) State House, 15th District
Dee Morikawa (D) State House, 16th District
Alan Yim (Lib.) State House, 17th District
Mark Hashem (D) State House, 18th District
Bert Kobayashi (D) State House, 19th District
Calvin Say (D) State House, 20th District
Scott Nishimoto (D) State House, 21st District
Dale Kobayashi (D) State House, 23rd District
Scott Saiki (D) State House, 26th District
Takashi Ohno (D) State House 27th District
Mela Kealoha-Lindsey (R) State House 27th District
John Mizuno (D) State House, 28th District
Linda Ichiyama (D) State House, 32nd District
Sam Kong (D) State House, 33rd District
Gregg Takayama (D) State House, 34th District
Roy Takumi (D) State House, 35th District
Rida Cabanilla (D) State House, 41st District
Sharon Har  (D) State House, 42nd District
Stacelynn Kehaulani (D) State House, 43rd District
Cedric Asuega Gates (D) State House, 44th District
Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto  (R) State House, 45th District
Lisa Kitagawa (D) State House, 48th District
Scot Matayoshi (D) State House, 49th District
Noe Galea’i (R) State House, 51st District
Chris Lee (D) State House, 51st District

Raja Krishnamoorthi, (D) Congress, 8th District

Theresa Mah (D) State House, 2nd District
Peter Lee (R) State House, 17th District
Julie Cho (R) State House, 18th DistrictMassachusetts
Shiv Ayyadurai, (R) U.S. Senate
Stephanie Chang, (D) State Senate, 1st District
Samantha Vang, (D) State House District 40B
Fue Lee, (D)tate House District 59A
Kaohly Her, (D)tate House District 64A
Tou Xiong. (D)tate House District 53A
Jay Xiong, (D)tate House District 67B
Yele-Mis Yang, (R)tate House District 42B
New Jersey
Andy Kim, (D) Congress, 3rd District, NJ
New Mexico
Lisa Shin (R) State House, 43rd District
New York
Grace Kim (D) Congress, 6th District
Ron Kim (D) State Assembly, 21st District
John Liu (D) State Senate, 11th District
Jeremy Cooney (D) State Senate, 56th District
Kevin Thomas (D) State Senate, 6th District
Cyndi Munson, State House, 85th District
Aftab Pureval, (D) Congress, 1st District
Pearl Kim (R), Congress, 5th District
Rhode Island
Allan Fung, (R) Governor
Gina Ortiz, (D) Congress, 23rd District
Sri Preston Kulkarni, (D) Congress, 24th District
Angie Chen Buttonm (R) State House, 112th District
Bobby Scott (D), Congress, 3rd District
Pramila Jayapal (D) Congress, 7th District
Cindy Ryu (D) State House, 32nd District,
Mia Su-Ling Gregerson-Dahle (D) State House, 33rd District
Sofia Aragon, (D) State Senate, 34th District
Sharon Tomiko Santos (D), State House, 37th District,
Manka Dinghra (D), State House, 45th District
Vandana Slatter (D) State House, 48th District,
Monica Stonier (D) State House, 49th District
My-Linh Thai, (D) State Senate, 41st District
Mona Das, (D) State Senate, 47th District

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