The first — and only — Korean-American to serve in Congress was Republican Jay Kim in 1999. Almost 20 years later, five Korean-American candidates have the chance of running for the House. Three out of the five candidates also have the opportunity to make history as the first female Korean American in Congress. Much like the Korean American community as a whole, the candidates that made it to this year’s Nov. 6th election come from diverse background experiences and represent a range of political stances. Meet the five candidates and explore their key issues: ANDY KIMRunning for: New Jersey District 3Party: Democrat Twitter: @AndyKimNJWebsite: http://www.andykimforcongress.com
Andy Kim, 36, is no stranger to public office, or the White House for that matter. He’s worked under President George W. Bush as a conflict specialist as the U.S. Agency for International Development and later under President Barack Obama as a national security advisor. He acted as the director for Iraq on President Obama’s National Security Council. Andy Kim was raised in New Jersey by his Korean immigrant parents. Now, he’s back in Burlington County competing to unseat Representative Tom MacArthur, who has been shown to often vote alongside with President Trump — 94.4 percent of the time. This NJ district is a key district, having voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 but going to Trump in 2016 by 6%. Key Issues:Campaign Finances and Voter Reform Make running for office more accessible by encouraging grassroots supporters and increasing transparency of donor contributions. Stop voter suppression and gerrymanderingSource: https://andykimforcongress.com/blog/issue/ofthepeople/
Running for: New Mexico District 43 House of RepresentativesParty: Republican Website: http://www.lisasfor43.comLisa Shin, an optometrist, highlights her experiences as a healthcare provider and a small business owner as she runs for state representative. This is her first time running for public office, but she is politically invested as the head of Korean Americans for Trump, whose mission is defined as “a volunteer, grass-roots driven initiative to support the Trump agenda and advance conservative principles.” She is a first-generation Korean American, the daughter of Korean immigrant parents.Key Issues:Gun ControlSupports voluntary and lawful possession of concealed weapons on school campuses, by trained faculty and staffStrengthen our NICS (National Instant Background Check System), to ensure that our states release criminal and mental health records to the NICSSource: https://www.abqjournal.com/1226466/qampa-house-district-43-candidate-lisa-shin.htmlImmigration Does not support New Mexico becoming a sanctuary state
Supports a fiscally sustainable and robust healthcare market for both private and public health insurance to provide people with more freedom and options Source: https://www.ladailypost.com/content/dist-43-candidate-lisa-shin-shares-visionMake New Mexico More “Business Friendly”Prioritize vocational education and technical career training.Ease the regulatory and tax burden on small businesses.
Running for: Pennsylvania District 5Party: RepublicanTwitter: @PearlKimPAWebsite: http://www.pearlkimforcongress.comIf elected, Pearl Kim, 39, will be the first women of color ever to be elected to US Congress in Pennsylvania. For nine years, Kim worked as an assistant district attorney in Delaware County in the Special Victims and Domestic Violence Division and was chief of the vision’s Human Trafficking Unit. When asked about why she decided to run for Congress, she feels that her experience as a survivor of sexual assault is part of what motivates her. Not receiving any funding from national parties and having left her job as a prosecutor, Pearl Kim considers herself “unbought and unbossed.”Key Iss