8 Asians

Jay Chen Announces Run for Congress

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Hacienda-La Puente, California School Board Member Jay Chen this week announced his run for California’s 39th Congressional District. His announcement is posted on his campaign site and blog as well as his background:

Jay Chen, a Democrat, was raised and educated in Hacienda Heights. A first-generation American, Jay’s parents came to the United States from Taiwan to seek a better future and taught him the value of hard work, the importance of a good education and the responsibility to serve the community. A product of the public school system, Jay earned a scholarship to Harvard University.

After graduating with honors he worked in the business world as a strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies. Today, Jay is a successful small businessman and serves our country as an intelligence officer in the United States Naval Reserve.  He was elected to the Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District Board of Education in 2007 and after four years of academic success and innovation in the district, he was re-elected with the top vote in 2011.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because I covered Chen when he interviewed for The Daily Show regarding the “controversy” of his school district’s ““Confucius Classroom” – Chinese language programs partially funded by Chinese government. Chen’s background sounds pretty solid, if not a little too perfect – almost like California State Senator Ted Lieu.

Chen will be going up against an incumbent Republican Congressman, Representative Ed Royce, who has been in Washington for over twenty years and already has $3 million for his re-election campaign. Another challenge that Chen faces is that his Congressional district is about 40 percent Republican and 32 percent Democrat. The district is close to 30% Asian, so Chen may pique the interest of some who may not have considered a Democrat. But no doubt about it, Chen has a huge challenge ahead of him.

[Photo courtesy of Jay Chen for Congress website]

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