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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Andy Kim calls for support in Senate race against billionaire opponent

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“I am running against a billionaire in the November election. Join me in this fight.”

Andy Kim, the Democratic candidate striving to become the first Korean-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey, shared his vision with the Korean-American community following his primary victory. A three-term Congressman, Kim emphasized in an interview with the Korea Daily that this election represents a return to the fundamental values of politics.

“I am deeply grateful for the intense interest and support from Korean Americans nationwide during the primary held on June 4,” Kim said. “The high level of support signifies a strong desire and expectation for a new kind of politics, and I am committed to pursuing those values.”

Andy Kim


When asked about his prospects for the November general election, Kim responded, “Although he received relatively few votes, Republican candidate Curtis Bashaw is a billionaire who publicly supports Donald Trump, and he is expected to launch an enormous financial campaign.”

Kim added that the current Senator Bob Menendez, who is still on trial for corruption charges, is expected to run as an independent, creating a situation where his team cannot afford to relax.

The jury’s verdict on Menendez’s corruption charges is expected in July or August. If there is a partial acquittal or an appeal, it could still impact votes within the party.

Kim secured an impressive 75% of the vote in the Democratic primary in New Jersey on June 4, receiving 388,251 votes with 95 percent of the votes counted. He has raised approximately $7.86 million in funds, drawing significant attention but remains cautious.

For the New Jersey Senate race, Kim plans to deliver a clearer message based on his three general election experiences in the House.

“Representing 780,000 people in my district at the House and now aiming to serve 9 million New Jersey residents is not an easy task,” Kim said. “I will campaign across all 21 counties and need the support of the Korean-American community.”

Kim expressed surprise at the significant interest in his success from the South Korean political sphere, emphasizing the importance of a strong alliance between the two countries.

“As we have maintained the U.S.-South Korea alliance for over 70 years since the armistice, we must deepen our exchanges not only in the military sector but also in the economic and technological sectors with Korea, which leads Asia’s growth,” Kim said. “I think it will also be meaningful for the United States to support the improvement of a constructive relationship between Korea and Japan, which will be crucial in building a cooperative framework with Asian countries.”

As the election campaign intensifies, Kim also highlighted the importance of family.

“The irony is that politics has often taken me away from my two elementary school sons, but recently, my eldest said he learned that ‘helping others is politics,’ which was surprising and encouraging. Their belief gives me greater strength.”

Kim urged supporters to get involved, saying, “If you believe that looking after the lives of those close to you is the fundamental duty of politics, please consider donating $10 or $20 to my campaign (andykim.com) and joining as a volunteer to help spread our message.”

There are 92 days left until the election on November 5.

BY INSEONG CHOI, YOUNGNAM KIM [choi.inseong@koreadaily.com]