Hot off the press, as they say, from the Kang for Senate campaign:
The chair of the state Senate Democratic Caucus, Sen. Connie Leyva, today endorsed Sukhee Kang in the open 29th Senate District, comprising parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Kang previously won the support of Sen. Kevin de León, the current president pro tempore and Democratic leader of the Senate. Democrats hold 26 of the 40 seats in the Senate.
“Sukhee Kang brings a remarkable background and life story to this race,” Leyva said. “In this majority-minority district, right next door to mine, he will bring small-business success and a record of public service that will be very appealing to voters. I will do everything I can to make sure Sukhee joins me in the Senate next year.”
De León, the first Latino leader of the state Senate in 130 years, publicly endorsed Kang earlier this month, saying, “I enthusiastically support Sukhee for Senate District 29. He is the perfect Democratic candidate in this diverse seat, and I look forward to welcoming him to the Senate next year.”
“I am deeply appreciative of Sen. Leyva’s endorsement and support,” Kang said. “Her outstanding service in the labor movement, and as the first woman president of the California Labor Federation, makes her a very important ally in my campaign to win the 29th Senate District.
Kang was a two-term city councilmember in Irvine, as well as a two-term mayor of the city, reelected overwhelmingly in 2010 with more than 64 percent of the vote. He and his wife Joanne, also a South Korean native who immigrated to the U.S. with him in 1977, have been residents of Orange County for 38 years and now live in Fullerton.
Kang announced his candidacy for the open 29th Senate District on April 22, the first Democrat to do so, and has since picked up dozens of endorsements from state and local officials and community leaders throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties. The district is currently represented by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, who cannot run again due to term limits.
Kang has been recognized numerous times for his outstanding public service and community leadership, including receiving the American Diabetes Association’s “Orange County Father of the Year Award” in 2012, the Carnegie Corporation’s “Pride of America” award in 2010, and the International Leadership Foundation’s “Public Servant of the Year” award in 2010. The Irvine Chamber of Commerce also recognized Kang in 2010 as “Business Leader of the Year.”
Kang graduated from Korea University with a degree in agricultural economics, and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dongseo University in Busan, Korea. He also has served a special advisor to the chancellor of UC Irvine, and as an adjunct professor and Chancellor Fellow at Chapman University.
The Kang children, Alan, 34, and Angie, 32, attended public schools in Anaheim, where the Kang family lived for 10 years. Alan, a graduate of USC’s Marshall School of Business, is a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Angie, a graduate of Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall), is senior counsel at Hulu.