Andy Kim was elected as the third Korean in 26 years in the U.S. House of Representatives
A three-term Korean lawmaker has reappeared in the U.S. federal House of Representatives for the first time in 26 years. According to the New York Times (NYT) on the 8th (local time), Democratic Congressman Andy Kim (40) beat Republican Bob Healy in New Jersey’s third electoral district in the U.S. midterm elections to secure his third term.
Democratic Congressman Marilyn Strickland, known by her Korean name “Soonja,” also won re-election. Andy Kim, who entered the federal parliament after beating Tom McArthur, an active Republican lawmaker, in the November 2018 midterm elections, has won three times so far. It is the first time in 26 years that a Korean-American has reached a third term since former congressman Kim Chang-joon in 1996.
New Jersey’s third electoral district, where lawmaker Andy Kim was elected, is a Republican dominant area, with former President Donald Trump winning both presidential elections.
However, the re-districting ahead of the midterm elections created a favorable environment for the election as Ocean County, which has strong Republican support, was incorporated into other constituencies and new areas with strong Democratic support. However, some observers say that it was not easy to be optimistic about the victory of Asian candidates in the region, which has a white population of 76%. The Republican Party also launched an “Asian negative” offensive aimed at this point, but failed to prevent lawmaker Kim’s election.
Lawmaker Kim joined the ranks of senior lawmakers with the victory. While expanding political influence in Washington’s political circles in the future, it is expected that he will actively engage in parliamentary activities in his specialized field of “foreign affairs and security.” Lawmaker Kim is a former Rose scholarship student and a Middle East security expert who received a Ph.D. in international relations at Oxford University in the U.K. and has served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee since entering the parliament.
Representative Strycland, who entered the federal parliament for the first time as a Korean-American woman in 2020, also re-election. Strycland, who ran for the 10th congressional district of Washington, defeated Republican Keith Swank to secure the election.
As of 7 a.m. on the 9th, Rep. Young Andy Kim of the Republican Party, who is seeking re-election in the midterm elections, received 59.1% of the votes in California’s 40 constituencies, ahead of Democratic candidate Asif Mahmoud (47.3%). The New York Times predicted Kim’s election through its own estimation.
Michelle Park Steel, a former Korean-born Republican who is also seeking re-election, won 55.3% of the votes in California’s 45th district, where 50% of the votes were counted, and is in a neck-and-neck race with Democratic candidate Chen J. (44.7%).
Meanwhile, candidates from minorities were elected in the midterm elections. According to the New York Times, Maura Healy, a Democrat, was elected governor of Massachusetts. Healy, a former attorney general in Massachusetts, is a person who has publicly revealed that he is a lesbian. With the election, Healy became the first lesbian governor in history.
In Maryland, for the first time in state history, a black governor was born. Democratic candidate Wes Moore won the Maryland gubernatorial election by overwhelming Republican candidate Dan Cox. Moore is a former Afghan veteran who served as chief executive of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York slum relief organization.
In Florida, the first-ever “Generation Z” (generation born in the mid-1990s and early 2000s) congressman was born. On the same day, Maxwell Alejandro Frost (25), a Democrat, was elected to the House of Representatives in Florida’s 10th district.
Frost has actively campaigned to strengthen gun control in the “March for Our Life” led by surviving students in the 2018 Parkland High School shooting in Florida.