[Meet the Candidates: Ed Han]
The 44th Assembly District, based in northern Los Angeles, includes relatively stable communities such as La Cañada, Glendale, and Burbank. Public safety and education are top issues for voters. Ed Han stands out as the only candidate among the 10 with experience both as a prosecutor and an educator. He’s a fresh face in the political scene, but he emphasizes his significant experience to voters. With five weeks to go before the vote, the Korea Daily conducted an interview with Han about his primary strategy.
The following is an edited excerpt from the interview
-What was your biggest campaign activity in January?
“We’re visiting homes to listen to voters’ opinions. With vote-by-mail already started, it’s crucial to encourage voter participation now.”
-There are 9 competitors. Any changes or concerns?
“There are still 10 people running. No external changes, but the result could be shocking. There’s no clear frontrunner, so it could come down to a few decimal points. It’s a tight race because the outcome is uncertain.”
-What percentage of the vote does a candidate need to win to advance to the general election under the current conditions?
“Looking at the turnout for qualifiers in presidential election years, it’s around 30%, so with about 100,000 people voting out of 300,000 eligible, getting 20%, or 20,000 votes or more, would position us strongly for the runoff.”
-You mentioned that your greatest strengths are your experiences as a prosecutor and educator.
“That’s correct. Among the 10 candidates, I am the only one with prosecutorial experience. Talking about public safety is one thing, but understanding its structure and substance through actual experience is another. Similarly, I’m the only one who has been in the classroom with kids, understanding firsthand the problems and who needs to solve them.”
-How is the election shaping up?
“Some recent polls show four candidates, including myself, in the lead. It’s surprising that there’s no alliance forming yet among candidates, indicating a very close race, possibly within the margin of error.”
-Who are the major endorsements so far?
“I am honored to be the only candidate endorsed by the California Police Chiefs Association. In the Korean American community, endorsements have come from State Senator Dave Min, Fullerton Mayor Fred Jung, Irvine Vice Mayor Tammy Kim, and Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council Community Organization Representative Jennifer Chung.”
-If the race is close, could the Asian and Korean American votes be key?
“Absolutely. With such a small margin, the clear motivation of Asians and Koreans to vote is pivotal. It’s essential they find a candidate who addresses their concerns and supports them. Their vote is crucial.”
-You said there are reasons for Korean Americans to vote.
“With Senator Dave Min’s resignation, the largest Korean-American community in California faces losing its representation in Sacramento. The Korean-American vote is crucial to prevent this. I aim to run in the general election and win.”
BY BRIAN CHOI, JUNHAN PARK [email@example.com]