Key Primary Races on Tuesday for Nikkei Candidates


From left, Alan Nakanishi, Warren Furutani, Alberto Torrico and Yoriko Kishimoto are on the ballot in Tuesday's primary election.

A number of Asian Americans will be on the ballot Tuesday as Californians vote in the primary, the first statewide election since the 2008 presidential election.

Republican Alan Nakanishi of Lodi is seeking a seat on the State Board of Equalization District 2 which stretches from northeastern California down through Inyo, Kern counties and also includes Ventura and parts of Los Angeles County.

“I’m very optimistic and very grateful for the support of the Nikkeis of Los Angeles,” said Nakanishi, in an interview with The Rafu Shimpo.

“I want low taxes to improve jobs and the economy. The BOE sits like judges, it’s a tax court and what I want to do is comply with the law of state of California. If it’s hazy I’ll be for the taxpayer.”
Nakanishi, a former assemblymember, faces state Sen. George Runner and Barbara Alby, a former member of the state assembly, in the Republican primary. On the Democratic side, Betty Yee is running unopposed in the Board’s District 1. The five-person State Board of Equalization collects California state sales and use tax, as well as fuel, alcohol, and tobacco taxes and fees that provide revenue for state government and essential funding for counties, cities, and special districts.

Assemblymembers Alberto Torrico, (D-Fremont) and Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), both square off in a crowded race for the State Attorney General position left vacant due to Jerry Brown’s decision to run for governor.

“For the first time in our state’s history, the government spent more money on prisons than higher education. We need to reform prisons and recognize that education is the key to our future and public safety,” said Torrico.

“As Attorney General, I will ensure all Californians have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream, regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or social-economic status-and to do so  safely and securely,” said Lieu.

State Controller John Chiang is unopposed in the Democratic primary. Reps. Judy Chu, Mike Honda and Doris Matsui are running unopposed in the Democratic primary. Republican Gerald Hashimoto is running unopposed and will face incumbent Rep. Barbara Lee to represent the 9th congressional district, which includes Berkeley and Oakland. Republican Assemblymember Van Tran and businessman Tan Nguyen join Anaheim Union High School trustee Katherine Smith in the Republican primary for congressional district 47, currently represented by Democrat Loretta Sanchez, who is running unopposed.

In the Assembly races, Palo Alto Councilmember Yoriko Kishimoto will face Rich Gordon, a member of the board of supervisors, and green energy entrepreneur Josh Becker for the Assembly District 21.

Kishimoto, a shin-Issei, has served as mayor of Palo Alto and co-authored “The Third Century: America’s Resurgence in the Asian Era,” on America’s strength as an open economy and diverse society during a time of great change.

James Lau seeks to be the third consecutive Asian American to represent the 53rd Assembly District, which includes Torrance, Redondo Beach, Marina Del Rey and Lomita. In District 20. Garrett Yee, Ohlone College trustee, faces Bob Wieckowski, a member of the Fremont City Council.

Incumbent assemblymembers running unopposed for the June primary include, Warren Furutani (D-South Los Angeles), Mike Eng (D-Rosemead), Paul Fong (D-Sunnyvale), Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward), Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), and Mariko Yamada (D-Solano).


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