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Friday, April 19, 2024

The Korea Daily endorsements for March 5 primary

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The Korea Daily will officially endorse candidates in this election as well. This is to help Korean-American voters exercise their valuable right to vote. The Candidate Evaluation Committee, an ad hoc internal panel, has evaluated policy pledges and media interviews of candidates for objective verification to determine whom the Korea Daily would endorse.
We will make public the candidates the Korea Daily is endorsing for the March 5 primary, which will take place before the general election in November. The candidates we’ve selected have attracted voters’ attention with their promises and visions for the future. They also have a strong chance of advancing to the general election in November. -Ed

Young Kim

3. Young Kim, U.S. House of Representatives (40th District)
Rep. Young Kim is running for a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives after serving in the California State Assembly.
After majoring in business administration at USC and working in the fashion business, Rep. Kim entered politics as an aide to a congressman and was re-elected in 2020. As chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Indo-Pacific Subcommittee, she has focused her legislative activities on sensitive diplomatic relations with the United States, China, and Japan.
Along with three fellow Korean-Americans in the House, she is an ambassador for kimchi, hanbok, and Hangul. The 40th District encompasses major Korean-American neighborhoods in Orange County and Riverside County and is 48% white and 20% Asian American. Kim raised $4 million in the race, topping the list of House candidates. She is being challenged by two Democrats in the primary.
Kim’s platform includes revitalizing the local economy by creating jobs, protecting low- and middle-income families from inflation, strengthening the border, cutting taxes, and increasing community safety.
Kim is one of the most promising candidates in the Republican Party and the House of Representatives. She has a strong understanding of the Korean-American community, having served as an aide to former Rep. Ed Royce, who served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. If she wins a third term, there are high expectations that she will play an important role in future diplomacy with South Korea.
Her campaign website is youngkimforcongress.com.

Michelle Steel

4. Michelle Steel, U.S. House of Representatives (45th District)
Rep. Michelle Steel is running for a third term in the 45th Congressional District. The 45th District is a must-hold for Republicans and a hotly contested seat for Democrats.
Steel, who has served on the Board of Equalization and the OC Board of Supervisors, was elected to Congress in 2020. She garnered nationwide attention for her upset victory over Democratic incumbent Harley Rouda by more than 7,700 votes. The district is centered in OC and includes Brea, Yorba Linda, and Buena Park to the north and Cerritos, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, and Westminster to the south. The neighborhoods are diverse in income, ethnicity, and immigration background and have different voter needs.
Steel has been a vocal advocate for the federal government to take fewer taxes and give more of the money back to low- and middle-income people. Her political philosophy is informed by her own struggles as an immigrant, and it resonates with her constituents. For this reason, she also has strong support from Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants.
She has introduced legislation that would allow Korean Americans and their relatives in North Korea to meet while also exploring ways for the federal government to help facilitate family reunions. She has also worked to raise the profile of the Korean-American community and South Korea in Congress.
She defeated a Chinese Democrat in the 2022 election and will face a runoff against a Vietnamese Democrat this year. If she wins, it will open an important window of communication between the Korean-American community and Asian immigrants and set a good example for second-generation Korean immigrants.

Steven Choi

5. Steven Choi, California State Senate (37th District)
Steven Choi, who served six years in the California State Assembly (68th District) from 2016 to 2022, is running for the state Senate in the 37th District. Choi was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2004 alongside Sukhee Kang, sparking hopes for Korean-American political power in the city. He also served on the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education for four years starting in 1998.
The need for Korean-American representation in Sacramento is one of the biggest reasons he is running for the Senate. California is the state with the largest Korean-American population, but no one has represented them since 2024. The second point he emphasizes is the need for a check on the Democratic Party’s dominance. Long-term Democratic dominance in the House, Senate, and state governments has led to a deepening of malady, he says. His campaign promises to end tax abuse and new taxes, dramatically improve education, and revitalize the economy.
Senate District 37, which includes Irvine, Villa Park, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach, is currently vacant due to Democrat Dave Min’s bid for Congress and is being contested by several candidates, including a Democratic incumbent. While the district is strongly Democratic, it will be interesting to see if public frustration with state government, crime, and rising prices will open the door for Choi.
Current endorsements include U.S. Representative Jay Obernolte, former California State Senator Jeff Stone, California State Assemblymember Tri Ta, Stanton Mayor David Shawver, and Newport Beach Mayor Noah Blom.

Jacob Lee

6. Jacob Lee, L.A. County judge
Jacob Lee, 36, a candidate for L.A. County judge, is a 10-year senior county prosecutor. He attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Law School before joining the local prosecutor’s office.
His story reflects the state of the Korean-American community over the past 30 to 40 years. It reflects the first-generation immigrants who struggled day in and day out in small businesses and workplaces, and the Korean-American community in the 1990s when racial discrimination and hostility existed.
His difficult upbringing, his parents still working in the field, and the family he now has. Unlike the other candidates, he has worked as a criminal prosecutor and has a strong commitment to fighting crime, which is likely to appeal to voters the most. He has criticized the disappointing behavior of District Attorney George Gascón and told us that he would seek a community where immigrant minorities are treated fairly once he enters the court.
There are currently two candidates in the race for the 39th Judicial District Court seat, a practicing attorney and a law firm attorney. Lee’s current goal is to win 50 percent of the vote in the March 5 primary and be seated on the court without a runoff.
The father of two has pledged to do everything he can for his hometown, LA Koreatown, until children can walk down the street without fear. He has the official endorsements of more than 50 current judges and former District Attorneys Steve Cooley and Jackie Lacey. His campaign website is jacobleeforjudge.com.