Refugee Becomes First Vietnamese-American Politician Elected in Massachusetts

Dean Tran, the first Vietnamese-American politician to ever win a Massachusetts State Senate seat, has been sworn-in after a victory by 700 votes at a special election in December 2017 to replace Jennifer Flanagan.

Tran, a Republican, will represent the Worcester-Middlesex district in Massachusetts.

They don’t need to know who Dean Tran is, they need to know he was a refugee who came with his parents when he was little,” Vinnie Than, the president of the Vietnamese-American Community of Massachusetts, said, Sentinel and Enterprise reported.

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“The most important thing, I want to send a message to younger people. Stand up and do something you think you could be good at. You can be a voice for the people. You can stand up for people who cannot stand up for themselves,” he continued.

When he was still young, Tran and his family fled Vietnam during the war, and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand. They then immigrated to Massachusetts where he worked his way off to climb the ladder of success via education, business and politics, as said in his campaign website.

“I’m very proud of the fact that I am the first Vietnamese-American to be in the Massachusetts legislature and Vietnamese Community of Massachusetts are very proud that I’m representing. “But I am looking forward to be coming to the Statehouse as a state Senator to represent everybody,” Tran said in his speech.

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Interestingly enough, two Asian-American politicians from other states have also announced their plan to run for a government position, ASAM News reported.

Image via Facebook

Gina Ortiz Jones, a 36-year-old novice Filipina-American politician, plans to run for Congress in Texas. However, she must first win the upcoming Democratic Primary Election Day on March 6, 2018. Jones is planning to unseat Texas’ 23rd congressional district representative William Ballard Hurd.

I knew my time in public service would be different,” she said at an interview with Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio via Views from the Edge “I knew it would be different having been a veteran, as a woman, as a member of the LGBT community, as a first-generation American, I knew just how this administration ran their campaign what they would focus on.”

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Image via Wikimedia Commons / MoCoMdDem (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Meanwhile, in Maryland, Indian-American Aruna Miller, who was first elected in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2010, has officially filled papers for her congressional seat run in the state.

As an immigrant, I have been afforded incredible opportunities here. I want to pay it forward and make sure we keep the doors of opportunity open to all our citizens,” she said, Outlook India reported. “Congress needs more experienced, progressive legislators at this critical time, if we are going to enact and keep policies that really serve the best interests of the people and our country.”

Miller is hoping to replace John Delaney after the latter announces he will no longer run for a re-election in 2020.

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Featured image via YouTube / Dean Tran

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