SAN JOSE – State Senate candidate Sukhee Kang over the weekend officially won the endorsement of the California Democratic Party, with the thousands of delegates attending the state convention in San Jose unanimously ratifying Kang’s earlier support by 88.8 percent of the delegates from the 29th Senate District.
“I am so gratified to have won the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party in my race for the 29th Senate District,” Kang said. “This critical endorsement is another sign that we will have across-the-board grassroots Democratic Party support in my Senate race. I look forward to working with the California Democratic Party and the party activists in the district to win this seat from the Republicans.”
Party delegates from the 29th Senate District, which covers parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, gathered in the city of Orange in a “pre-endorsement conference” on January 30. Under party rules, a candidate seeking the official endorsement of the state Democratic Party must receive at least 70 percent of the delegates’ votes at the conference in order to win the nod outright. Kang received support from 88.8 percent of the delegates, while the other little-known Democrat in the race received only six votes, or 9 percent.
Kang previously won the endorsements of Eric Bauman, vice chair of the California Democratic Party and chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and San Bernardino County Democratic Chair Chris Robles. He also has been endorsed by the Chino Valley Democratic Club, the Helen L. Doherty Democratic Club, the Tri-Counties Democratic Club and the West End Democratic Club (San Bernardino County).
Kang was a two-term city councilmember in Irvine, as well as a two-term mayor of the city, reelected mayor overwhelmingly in 2010 with more than 64 percent of the citywide 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: