On Tuesday, five new Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders were elected to serve in the 113th United States Congress, with one race too close to call. The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) congratulates all the candidates who ran this historic cycle, and celebrates the victories of the winners as they prepare to serve in their new leadership roles:
- Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (HI)
- Representative-elect Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
- Representative-elect Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
- Representative-elect Grace Meng (NY-06)
- Representative-elect Mark Takano (CA-41)
- Too close to call: Ami Bera (CA-07)
“The election of 2012 is historical in the sense of the number of AAPI candidates and the impact of AAPI voters in swing states,” said Floyd Mori, incoming APAICS Interim President and CEO. “APAICS welcomes this overwhelming participation and welcomes the new AAPI Members of Congress. This election broadens the pipeline for future participation by new candidates for all elected offices.”
The result is the largest caucus of Asian American and Pacific Islander Members in any single congressional session, reflecting the increasing political power of the fastest growing demographic group.
“I congratulate all of the newly elected Asian American and Pacific Islander Congressional candidates on their hard won victories,” said Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). “Many have broken barriers and established historic firsts for their states and for their communities, and it moves me to see our nation’s elected leaders beginning to look more like the diverse constituencies that they represent. I am honored to chair CAPAC during this period of tremendous political momentum, and I look forward to working with all of my new colleagues in the 113th Congress to move our nation forward.”
All five of these winners made history this election. Hirono will be the first Asian American woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. Duckworth and Meng will be the first Asian Americans to represent their states of Illinois and New York, respectively. Gabbard will be the first Hindu American in the US Congress, as well as the first Samoan American elected as a voting member in Congress. Takano will be the first openly gay minority Member of Congress.
“Tonight, we break all the records. The diversity of this incoming class represents everything that I’ve worked to create,” said Rep. Mike Honda, Chair Emeritus of CAPAC. “I’m thrilled to see Congress more diverse than the day I started. Congress is slowly, but surely, starting to look more American.”
The incoming group joins eight returning CAPAC members. These are: Senator Daniel K. Inouye (HI), Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (AS), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05), Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI), and Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03).
APAICS is a national non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office.
Source: APAICS press release