It’s a major indication of the growing influence of Asian Americans on the political scene.
Three Asian Americans are in runoffs tomorrow in mayoral races in three major cities.
Aftab Pureval, 39, is Indian and Tibetan American and is running for mayor of Cincinnati against a long-time politician and former two-time mayor of the city, David Mann, 82. They are both vying to replace John Cranley who can not run for reelection due to term limits.
Bruce Harrell, 63, is Japanese and Black American. He is a former Seattle City Councilmember running against Lorena Gonzalez, 44, the current president of the Seattle City Council.
Michelle Wu, 36, currently serves on the Boston City Council and is running against a fellow city council member, Annissa Essaibi George, 47.
All three Asian American candidates are given a strong chance of winning their races.
Pureval currently serves as county clerk of courts for Hamilton County.
“If voters are looking for the status quo, if they’re looking for the city to run in place, then there’s an option for that,” said Pureval during a recent debate with Mann, reported WLWT. “What we’re providing is a bold vision for moving the city forward, for winning the next decade, for growing our city, and for growing it equitably.”
Mann suggested during the debate that Pureval lacked the experience to take the job of mayor.
“So sometimes it seems to me like the clerk over here is saying, ‘Look, I’ve flown a kite and now it is time for me to take the controls of a 747,’ except we are all passengers,” Mann said, according to WVXU.
Pureval recently picked up the endorsement of Ohio’s senior senator, Sherrod Brown.
In Seattle, Harrell and Gonzalez have clashed over policing with Gonzalez positioning herself as the progressive and Harrell the moderate.
Gonzales has called for a tax on the rich and has accused outgoing Mayor Jenny Durkan of sitting on money for homelessness.
Harrell has been critical of her support to defund the police by 50% and to use that money for other ways of tackling crime. According to Crosscut, he wants to use new technology to monitor gunshots and violence. He blames Gonzalez and the current city problem of failing to address public safety, homelessness, and gun violence.
“My vision in this area is to prevent the gunshots in the first place,” she said in a recent debate. “We do that by getting the guns out of our communities and by giving our youth and others in our community the tools they need to survive and be resilient — that is jobs, housing, and better education, so they don’t have to resort to guns in the first place.”
Harrell advocates for mentoring repeat offenders to show them a life away from crime. He also says society must begin to understand the root causes of graffiti and anti-social behavior to tackle the problem.
In Boston, Wu has a commanding 30 point lead over Essaibi George in the Emerson College poll released just days before the election, reports CBS4.
Of the 500 likely voters surveyed, 61% said they would vote for Wu, 31% for her opponent. The survey has a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points. Only 8% said they were undecided.
Wu has built much of her campaign on fighting climate change and turning Boston into a Green New Deal city.
Essaibi George says she wants to declare a public health emergency in the crime-ridden area of Mass and Cass.
“We are not helping any individual who is in crisis by allowing them to stay in tents on our streets,” she said to NBC Boston.
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