Gain representation in Congress
We want Korean American voices to be heard from inside the room where decisions are made. A record six Korean Americans are running for Congress in 2018. We encourage you to learn more about them.
Democrat, New Jersey 3rd
Andy Kim is a former National Security Council staffer who advised President Obama on Iraq. A Rhodes Scholar and a Truman Scholar, Andy received a doctorate in international relations at Oxford where he wrote about and researched US national security policy. Founder of Rise Stronger, a national political mobilization group, Andy cites the leading role of his representative, Tom MacArthur, in the Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare in 2016 as one of his key motivations for challenging him for his seat. Andy grew up in the district where he is running with his father, a polio survivor and Ph.D. scientist and his mother, a nurse.
Andy had no opponents in the Democratic primary. His election is the nationwide general election on November 6.
David J. Kim
Democrat, Georgia 7th
David Kim is founder and former CEO of C2 Education, a national tutoring and test prep company he started in his college dorm room. Three years ago David stepped away from C2 to refocus his life, at a point when it had built 200 locations and was serving 50,000 students annually, to refocus his life. He describes his political awakening as the election of Donald Trump in 2016. As a Democrat, he is vying for a Congressional seat that has been held by Republicans for 24 years. The district is changing, however. The white-only population of this Atlanta suburb recently dipped below half, to 49.1%.
David narrowly lost the runoff for the Democratic nomination on July 24. His opponent, Carolyn Bourdeaux, a former state budget director and professor, will go on to face Republican incumbent Rob Woodall in the general election on November 6.
Donna Mercado Kim
Democrat, Hawaii 1st
Donna Mercado Kim has been an elected official in Hawaii for over 34 years. She is currently serving on the Hawaii State Senate. A well-known figure in Hawaii politics, Donna has also served on the Honolulu City Council and the Hawaii State House of Representatives. She had also served for three years as Senate President. Her experience prior to politics included stints in small business, hospitality, and radio broadcasting. Kim was born and raised in Kalihi, Hawaii. Her father is second-generation Korean while her mother is Spanish-Filipino-Portuguese. This is her second run for the 1st Congressional district in Hawaii.
Donna was defeated in the Democratic primary due, in part, to the late entry of Ed Case, who won the primary and had represented the district as its congressman from 2002 to 2007. She placed third behind Doug Chin, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.
Republican, Pennsylvania 5th
Pearl is a former public prosecutor. She has worked at both the county district attorney and state attorney general’s offices. Her focus as a county prosecutor was special victims, particularly sex crimes. Pearl was the first prosecutor in Pennsylvania to win a case under the state’s new human trafficking law. Like Pearl, the Democratic nominee for this newly-created district’s open seat is also a woman and a lawyer, Mary Gay Scanlon. Pennsylvania is therefore guaranteed at least one female Congressional representative in 2019.
Pearl was strongly supported by county GOP leaders and faced no competition in her primary. Pearl’s election is the general nationwide election on November 6.
Republican, California 39th
Young is a former two-term California State Assemblywoman and former district aide of twenty years to Representative Ed Royce, whose seat she is now running for. Congressman Royce endorsed Young on the day after he announced his retirement. Young’s career began in business and finance but shifted early on to public service, beginning with her relationship with then-state senator Royce in 1990. Young’s husband Charles is well-known in the Korean American community and has been involved with civic engagement and politics throughout his career as well.
Young came in first place in California’s open primary system and faces the second-place finisher, Democrat Gil Cisneros, in the general nationwide election on November 6.
Democrat, Massachusetts 3rd
Dan served as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Boston for four years. Dan was 29 years old when he was tapped for this post. Prior to that he had been at the Huffington Post in a variety of roles, including Chief of Staff to its founder Arianna Huffington. As Chief of Staff to Mayor Marty Walsh Dan championed data-driven approaches to governing and city services. Dan is Korean-Lebanese. His father and uncle both served President Obama in Senate-confirmed leadership positions at the Health and Human Services and State Departments respectively.
Following a recount, Dan Koh officially conceded to his primary opponent Lori Trahan, who won by 0.16% or 145 votes out of approximately 89,000 cast, on September 17. He will stand behind the Democratic nominee who will face Republican nominee Rick Green in the general election on November 6.
Twenty members of Congress represent more than one in three KAs
We need more Korean Americans in elected office — but our elected representatives need not be Korean to serve us effectively.
More than one-third of the Korean American population is covered by just twenty of the 435 members of the US House of Representatives, and none of them are KA.
As our organization grows, we look forward to holding candidates and incumbents accountable. We will publish legislative scorecards and campaign questionnaires to help compare their actions to our priorities.
Congressional House Districts Ranked by Korean American Population Size
|KA %||State||Dist.||Representative||Party||KA Pop.|
|6.17%||NJ||9||Bill Pascrell, Jr.||Dem||42,249|
|KA %||State||Dist.||Representative||Party||KA Pop.|