Marilyn Strickland and Possibly Young Kim: First Korean American Women Elected to Congress

Image courtesy of Strickland’s campaign website

History was made this election when Marilyn Strickland, the former mayor of Tacoma, Washington, won her race for the US House of Representatives in Washington’s 10th congressional district:

“… becoming the first Korean American woman elected to the US Congress in its 230-year history.  … Strickland added that she is proud to be the first African American elected to Congress from the Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington, Idaho and Oregon, as well as the first Korean American woman to serve in the US Congress.

Strickland, whose Korean name is Sun-ja, was born in Seoul in 1962 to an African American father, a World War II and Korean War veteran, and a Korean mother. The two met while her father was stationed in Korea after the war. Strickland and her family moved to Tacoma in 1967 after her father was dispatched to Fort Lewis. She graduated University of Washington and earned an MBA from Clark Atlanta University. “

Congratulations to Representative Elect Strickland!

Republican Young Kim is in a tight race with Democrat Gil Cisneros in Southern California’s 39th district.  As of Monday November 9, she was leading with 50.5% with 97% of the votes counted (according to AP).  The Orange County Registrar of Voters says it could be weeks before results are final.  Will share when I know more information.

The only other Korean American I am aware of who was in Congress (I could be wrong), is first term Congressman Andy Kim, who won his reelection bid in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district:

“Rookie Democrat Rep. Andy Kim defeated former business executive David Richter to win a second term in Congress in the 3rd congressional district.

The Associated Press called the race for Kim at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday

Kim was one of four Democrats who won Republican held congressional districts in New Jersey during 2018′s blue wave, barely ousting Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur.”

Congratulations to Representative Kim as well!


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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