After a soft launch announcement to the Korean-American community last Friday, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang announced he was running for Congress in what looks like the new OC Coastal district where Republican heavyweights Dana Rohrabacher and John Campbell would split the Republican vote.
But our redistricting mapwatchers called with a tip today. The congressional lines being drawn appear to cut the Northern Sphere of Irvine along Trabuco Road which parallel’s the 5 Freeway. Kang resides in Irvine’s Northpark Square neighborhood which is North of Trabuco Road and the 5 Freeway and that neighborhood appears to be in a Congressional District favored by Congressman Ed Royce. We won’t know for sure until the district maps are finalized, but it appears Kang has three options:
1. Run in the new Coastal District against Campbell and Rohrabacher (you don’t have to live in the district to run for Congress in that district)
2. Move into the new coastal district and run (we’ve stated before on this blog, there’s no shame in Carpetbagging to run and represent people you’ve represented for years. The shame to be had, if any, is blasting a candidate you favor for carpetbagging while blessing one you favor for carpetbagging. And while we did report on Assembly candidate Steven Choi carpetbagging his family of four into a teeny tiny Irvine condo, those who read the entire report know the end of the story, we said “so what.”).
3. Kang could square off against Royce head to head.
Options 1 & 2 appear to be Kang’s best for holding on to a strong Korean-American voting block. We’re also hearing that a state senate district might open up that connects Irvine, Tustin, Diamond Bar and Walnut — communities with strong Asian-American voting blocks. Once the new districts are finalized, if a state senate seat opens up that appears favorable to Kang, its entirely possible he’d pursue that office.
Attempts to reach Mayor Kang today were not successful.
Until the new districts are drawn, expect a lot of “wait and see” on the part of those seeking higher office.