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Friday, April 19, 2024

The Korea Daily makes official endorsements for March 5 primary

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It’s an election year, with the presidential race, along with congressional, state, and local races.

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.

In this newsletter, we will announce two endorsements. Further endorsements will ensue in the following newsletters. We hope you’ll join us in electing these talented local leaders.


John Lee

1. John Lee, LA City Council District 12

John Lee is running for re-election to the Los Angeles City Council and is considered a politician who will raise the profile of the Korean-American community in local politics.

Lee has more than 20 years of political experience from his work as an aide to politicians and is the second Korean-American to be elected to the LA City Council. If he wins, he will make Korean-American immigration history as the first Korean-American council member to be re-elected to a second term.

Lee has been a longtime advocate for increased police presence to ensure public safety. He was instrumental in establishing a Relief Fund to revitalize small businesses in his district. He is also known for being the only independent on the council, always offering viable alternatives and speaking out against ordinances that favor certain groups.

He serves as Vice Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, and his campaign is centered on improving public safety, reducing homelessness, and revitalizing local small businesses. These are some of the biggest issues facing the city. That’s why we’re officially endorsing him.

In addition to being endorsed by the 95,000-member SEIU Local 721 and LA City Firefighters Local 112, he has the support of six fellow council members, including Council President Paul Krekorian. This means he has a broad base of support for his active legislative record and community-oriented policies. Notably, he won 50.61% (33,007) of the votes in the March 2020 primary election.


Grace Yoo

2. Grace Yoo, LA City Council District 10

Grace Yoo is running for a third time to fulfill her dream of having a Korean-American council member in LA City Council District 10, which includes Koreatown, home to the Korean-American community.

As a lawyer, Yoo grew up working for organizations such as the Korean American Coalition and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles, and as an aide to California State Senators, and has played an important role in bringing the Korean-American community’s voice to the mainstream and political arena.

Yoo has been campaigning since early last year on a platform of supporting police and firefighters, reforming the administration system to create new housing, finding a solution to homelessness, and ending corruption in City Hall.

She has been in close contact with city council members, protesting against unjust decisions and arbitrariness in the city’s political establishment and working with them to find solutions.

In the 2020 election runoff, she impressed the political establishment by garnering 39.4 percent of the votes, though defeated by a political bigwig, African-American incumbent Mark Ridley-Thomas. Yoo has been endorsed by former California State Treasurer John Chiang, L.A. County Court Judge Ann Park, former LAPD Chief and L.A. City Councilmember Bernard Parks, and former U.S. Congressmen Mike Honda and Howard Berman.

There are five candidates in the 10th District race, including the incumbent Heather Hutt who is an appointed member of the City Council. There are more than 135,000 registered voters in the district, of which more than 9,200 are Korean-American. As of mid-February, Yoo is leading in the campaign fundraising. There is a high chance of Yoo advancing to the runoff.