Published : Wednesday, November 9, 2016 | 4:01 PM
Tuesday’s election results bring several new Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to the U.S. Congress, many of whom will be setting historic firsts when they are officially sworn in. Two new AAPI candidates were elected to serve in the U.S. Senate and five in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Last night, the American people elected a record a number of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to serve in the U.S. Congress,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). “The 115th Congress will include more women and minorities than ever before, which means that the people making decisions for Americans will better reflect the diversity of our nation. With these victories, CAPAC will have its highest AAPI membership in history, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues to come together and move our nation forward.”
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) won her Senate race and made history as the first Thai American elected to the U.S. Senate. California Attorney General Kamala Harris also won her Senate race, becoming the first Indian American elected to the U.S. Senate.
In the House, we have our first Vietnamese American Representative-Elect, Stephanie Murphy (FL-07); first Indian American woman Representative-Elect, Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); Indian American Representative-Elects, Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) and Ro Khanna (CA-17); as well as returning member Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01).
At this time, CAPAC Executive Board Member Ami Bera (CA-07) holds the lead in a close race that has yet to be decided. If Congressman Bera wins, there will be a total of 18 Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of Congress next year.
In addition to welcoming newly elected Members, Chairwoman Chu also thanked departing CAPAC Chair Emeritus Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17) for his service.
“CAPAC thanks Congressman Mike Honda for his tireless work to champion issues critical to the AAPI community and to all Americans during his 16 years of service in the U.S. Congress,” said Chu. “Our caucus would not be where it is today without his leadership, and his presence and commitment to advancing CAPAC’s mission and goals will be greatly missed.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.