Young Kim Becomes First Korean-American Woman to Join U.S. House of Representatives
History was made yesterday during the U.S. 2018 midterms when Young Kim, former State Legislator, became the first Korean-American woman to join the U.S. House of Representatives as well as be the first Korean-American member to serve in Congress.
In a very close race in California’s 39th district with 51.4% of votes against her opponent, Kim defeated Democrat Gil Cisneros who holds 48.6%, according to Yonhap News.
The 56-year-old Republican, won narrowly by just 3.2%.
The only other Korean-American to have served in Congress was Republican Jay Kim from 1993-1999.
A rarity for the Republican Party, Kim is an Asian American immigrant, according to the LA Times. Facing questions about the Trump agenda, Kim has openly spoken up that she does not endorse him.
“I try to tell them I’m not running to be his spokesperson or represent Donald Trump in the White House,” Kim told the LA Times.
The residents of the 39th Congressional District which encompasses parts of Southern California, are primarily Asian and Latino.
“My personal experience of being an immigrant, having gone through what this diverse immigrant community has gone through, struggling,” Kim said. “Those are real life experiences that really helped me understand … the district.”
Kim immigrated to the U.S. territory of Guam in 1975, prior to moving to Hawaii and eventually to California, where she attended the University of Southern California.
The 2018 midterm elections proved to be history-making for women of color. Alongside Kim, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, will join Congress as the first Native American women members, as well as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the first Muslim women members, as reported by CNN.