Historic Election in Irvine; Sukhee Kang Poised to be First Korean-American Mayor

We talk a lot about the historical significance of Senator Barack Obama’s canddiacy for president and Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well.  But in Irvine, voters are poised to make history this November by electing Sukhee Kang as the city’s first Korean American mayor.

Kang has been a leader in Irvine on helping residents without healthcare gain access to state programs that provide free healthcare for children.  Irvine’s successful I-CHIP program finds eligible residents, at a minimal cost, apply for this healthcare program; many of those eligible were unaware they could get free healthcare for their children under this program until Kang pushed for it.  Kang’s opponent, Christina Shea, speaking on a KUCI political radio show, suggested that eligible residents should make the drive to Santa Ana to apply or the program rather than minimal city funds be used to pay for it. I know.  Heartless, isn’t it?

More after the flip:

Kang also led the fight to help Irvine’s outstanding but severely underfunded schools with a million dollars to help fund key programs.  This is laudable, as great schools attract talented and smart residents here with is one of the reasons Irvine’s home values have weathered a bad housing market and companies locate her for the exceptional talent pool.

But where Kang really leads now is the money race.  He has $166,000+ in the bank as of the end of July compared with about $30,000 by Christina Shea.  A story on the Irvine Tattler suggests that most of Kang’s money is from LA and not Irvine and ponders the notion why anyone would contribute to the election of someone not in the city (forgetting all the out-of-town money John Duong raised in 2006 is his failed bid to defeat Beth Krom). 

The truth is Kang is kicking Shea’s ass when it comes to donations from Irvine residents: $44K to about $12K.  OC donations account for $88L in Kang’s coffers compared about $23K in Shea’s.  Local money means local support.

While the Tattler chides Kang for his LA contributions, it failed to note that council member Stephen Choi will be holding an LA fundraiser later this month.  A convenient omission, I’m sure.

And while Kang and Choi are both Korean American, it’s Kang’s extensive ties to the Korean-American community, his respect for the culture of Korean American residents, the tight ties to the people, and his accomplishments in the community more than qualify Sukhee Kang to lead Irvine from the Mayor’s chair for the next four years (yes, I’m re-electing him in 2010).

So when Frank Mickadeit chides Irvine voters for “not really knowing what’ going on” I have to chide Frank right back and ask, “do you?”


A disclaimer: I am a financial contributor to Mr. Kang’s campaign with a maximum contribution of $410.  I have also maxed out to the campaigns of Larry Agran, Beth Krom, and Todd Gallinger.  In addition, to refute the notion that people should only contribute to campaigns where they live, I made a small donation to the campaign of Paul Lucas for Garden Grove city council even though I live in Irvine.