If there is a single state that embodies opportunity, it would be California. It was the first state to have two women U.S. senators at one time and also the first state to elect Asian American and Latino members to Congress. Now, California lays claim to the first vice president of the United States who is Asian American, Black and a woman. With the historic win of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the promise to have a federal government that looks like and reflects America, our nation could have the most diverse Cabinet and government in our nation’s history.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has that same opportunity to build on California’s legacy by nominating a senator that who represents the diversity of the state’s residents. The potential candidates mentioned in the media for the upcoming Senate vacancy are all excellent choices — perhaps the most diverse group of individuals that have ever been discussed. Within that group are a number of well-qualified Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates — likely the most ever in the state’s history — who deserve consideration when selecting the next senator from California.
The bench is deep. Statewide electeds including Controller Betty T. Yee, state Treasurer Fiona Ma, as well as former candidate for governor and former state Treasurer John Chiang. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have a record of national leadership and experience creating diverse coalitions include Judy Chu, Ro Khanna, Ted Lieu and Mark Takano. Among California rising stars, Assembly member Evan Low and San Diego Mayor-elect Todd Gloria have the experience and age to achieve great seniority in the Senate for California.