Former Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang to Run for California Senate in 2016

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Former Irvine, Calif. mayor Sukhee Kang announced last Friday that he will be running for the California Senate, Korea Times reports. The 62-year-old will be running as a Democrat for Senate District 29, which includes parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernadino counties.

“I am excited about bringing my background and experience in both the private and public sectors to serve the citizens of Senate District 29,” Kang said in a statement. “This very diverse district includes parts of three counties, and it deserves to have an advocate in the state Senate who will exercise strong bi-partisan leadership and fight for issues important to the residents who live here.”

“I am looking forward to campaigning door-to-door throughout the district, as I have always done in my campaigns to meet voters where they live and listen to the concerns on their doorsteps.”

A 38-year resident of Orange County, Kang immigrated to the U.S. in 1977 after graduating from Korea University. He previously worked in the private sector in the Orange and Riverside counties before entering the public sector, following the L.A. riots in 1992. Kang spent some time working different Korean American community organizations, including serving as chairman of the Korean American Coalition of Orange County, before branching out into politics.

In 2008, Kang was elected as mayor of Irvine, touted as the “first Korean American mayor of a major U.S. city.” He won re-election in 2010 and served until 2012, although 2011 saw a failed run at U.S. Congress against incumbent Republican Joseph Campbell.

The California Senate primary will be held on June 7, 2016. A top-two finish will allow Kang to advance to the November election. The Korea Times notes that if he becomes elected, he will be the first Korean American state senator in 42 years since the late Alfred H. Song.

You can find more information on Sukhee Kang’s campaign at his website,


Image via Sukhee Kang’s Facebook page

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