All posts filed under: Politics

2018 Midterms: A breakdown of SEA state legislative candidates

The 2018 U.S. midterms saw the election of five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate to the Minnesota and the Ohioan state legislatures, respectively. More than 6,000 seats were up for reelection as 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections, according to Ballotpedia. Overall, five Hmong and two Laotian candidates made it onto the general election ballot across the country. All five Hmong candidates and one Laotian candidate are Democrats. About 23 percent of the state legislative candidates nationwide are Southeast Asian. Twenty-three percent of that group are Laotian or Hmong, which means that only 5.3 percent of state legislative candidates on general election ballots are Laotian or Hmong. In Minnesota, Democratic Farmer-Labor House District 59A incumbent Fue Lee won reelection, and DFL challengers Samantha Vang, Tou Xiong, Khaly Her, and Jay Xiong all emerged victorious on Nov. 6. The lone Laotian Republican candidate for a state legislative seat, Yele-Mis Yang, lost his bid for Minnesota House District 42B. After weeks of ballot processing, Democrat Tina Maharath was finally declared the …

A win for incoming Ohio senator Tina Maharath is a win for the Lao American community

Coming from an unexpected win as senator for Ohio’s 3rd district, Democrat Tina Maharath is relishing her success as she travels throughout southeast Asia to reconnect with family. Many are calling Maharath an underdog as she won despite unlikely circumstances. Unofficial Nov. 8 midterm election votes showed Maharath’s opponent, veteran Republican lawmaker Anne Gonzales, in the lead by just a few hundred votes and it seemed as if the race was headed toward a recount. But after Franklin County election officials counted provisional and late absentee ballots more than two weeks later, Maharath took home the win by about 705 votes. “It doesn’t feel real right now,” Maharath said in a Facebook video announcement from Bangkok, Thailand. “I couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support. Thank you for all the contributions from all over the world, everyone who voted for me, everyone who helped raise me, everyone who was there for me when I wanted to give up…” Maharath, a 27-year-old financial analyst from Canal Winchester, pulled ahead when the odds were stacked against her. She had …