GARDEN GROVE – Sukhee Kang, the Democratic candidate in the open 29th Senate District, today picked up the support of another major labor organization, UNITE HERE Local 11. UNITE HERE Local 11 represents more than 20,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants, sports arenas and convention centers throughout Southern California. It is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international labor organization that represents 270,00o working people across North America.
“Sukhee has demonstrated during his entire career that he respects workers’ rights, and has gone out of his way to treat employees fairly and with dignity, even as a big-city mayor during tough economic times” said Tom Walsh, president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “He himself is a former dues-paying member of a union, and he will be a strong advocate for the aspirations of working families in Senate District 29 and throughout the state of California. UNITE HERE Local 11 is proud to endorse his candidacy, and to assist in every way possible in his campaign for the state Senate.”
“I want to thank UNITE HERE from the bottom of my heart for endorsing and supporting my candidacy for the state Senate,” Kang said. “Many of its members, like me, are immigrants to this country, and they work tirelessly serving the public and playing a major role in California’s economy. I look forward to joining UNITE HERE in its fight on behalf of working people as a state senator.”
The endorsement of Kang by UNITE HERE adds to his growing list of organizational endorsements, including SEIU California, the California Nurses Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the Orange County Employees Association and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association. In addition, Kang won the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party, earning the support of almost 90 percent of party delegates in SD 29.
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 39 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, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The district is currently represented by former 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.”
A veteran, Kang served in the South Korean Army, then graduated from the prestigious 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, 35, and Angie, 33, 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.
A full list of Sukhee Kang’s endorsements can be found here: