HomeBad Ass AsiansFrancesca Hong wins primary, one step closer to being Wisconsin's first Asian...

Francesca Hong wins primary, one step closer to being Wisconsin’s first Asian American state legislator

Francesca Hong may make history as Wisconsin’s first Asian American state legislator.

Hong, a Korean American Democrat, won her primary race Tuesday alongside several other minority candidates in other races, WPR reports. If the candidates are victorious come November, Wisconsin’s state legislature will better reflect the state’s demographics. 

The chances of Hong winning the general election are highly likely, Hong is running in the state’s 76th Assembly district (which includes Wisconsin’s capital city, Madison), whose voters have historically voted blue. 

Hong told the Wisconsin State Journal she was surprised at the lack of Asian American representation in government despite the state’s large Hmong population.

Hong was motivated to run as COVID-19 related xenophobic rhetoric and attacks have been on the rise. 

“I intend to be a representative to so many voices who haven’t been represented before,” Hong said according to WPR. “I think when you have representation and you see people in positions of power representing institutions that impact your life directly, there’s a sense that you belong a little bit more.” 

“There are just outright racist legislators right now who are unapologetic about being complicit in these systems of racism,” Hong added.

The chef and restaurant owner beat out seven other candidates in the primary with 28.2% of the vote. Hong said she’s been personally affected by the pandemic and would bring a “working class voice to the Assembly.” 

“I had a lot of fear with what happened with COVID for the business and for my family,” Hong said to the State Journal. “And I had a lot of anger with what happened. And all the injustices that were being exacerbated by the virus, and that we weren’t talking about that before.” 

According to Hong’s campaign website, her platform includes a long-term COVID-19 recovery plan, equity in higher education, and climate justice initiatives. 

Hong also plans to combat mass incarceration by “[incorporating] food justice and food systems directly into rehabilitation programs,” providing job opportunities while alleviating produce disparities. 

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