As I had mentioned when I had blogged about Columbia Law professor Tim Wu’s run and loss for Lt. Governor for New York in the primary, because I am living in Silicon Valley, I have not been aware of Wu being a candidate, nor until very recently, Leland Chung running for Lt. Governor of Massachusetts. I happened to be included in an email from my Aunt in the Greater Boston area, and one of her friends in an unrelated email thread was encouraging everyone on the email list to vote for Chung. What really sucks is that both Wu and Cheung both got major endorsements from their most influential local newspapers, The New York Times and Boston Globe respectively:
“Cheung, a three-term Cambridge city councilor, is the strongest candidate by dint of his determination to reject the past uses of the job as a political liaison with strong links to patronage. Instead, he plans to advocate for broadband access and high-tech jobs to underserved areas. … Cheung, however, has an entirely different and more ambitious vision for the job, a keener understanding of why it’s fallen into disrepute, and a promising record in elected office. While he plans to maintain Murray’s municipal portfolio, Cheung says he will not get involved in political hiring. Instead, Cheung wants to serve as a liaison to the innovation economy. He boasts of being the only candidate in the race (or, likely, any other statewide race) who knows how to write computer code. Cheung’s competent record on the Cambridge council suggests he has a knack for using low-profile jobs effectively, having advocated for preserving office space for small startups and helping innovative companies like Bridj take root in the city. Cheung also shows some reform inclinations: He favors abolishing the archaic Governor’s Council and changing the state constitution to make lieutenant governor a more meaningful office.”
Unfortunately, Cheung came in second in the Democratic primary, winning approximately 29% of the vote to first place winner, Stephen Kerrigan, who won 51% of the vote. If it’s any consolation, Cheung did beat out the third place candidate, who garnered only 20% of the vote. I took a quick look at Cheung’s bio, and it is pretty impressive.
I’m sorry such a qualified candidate lost, but it is kind or reassuring to see more more Asian Americans running for higher and higher offices at the local and state level – so much so that it’s hard to keep track of everyone who is running! I’ll be really,really excited when a viable Asian American runs for national office – and especially if he or she wins!