As elections were held in states across the US on Tuesday, Asian American candidates made history with concrete and predictable victories in three major cities.
The mayoral races in Boston, Cincinnati and Seattle garnered as much national attention as the tight gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.
Michelle Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, claimed victory in Boston’s mayoral race, as an unofficial return signaled a strong defeat for rival Anisa Esaibi George, prompting the city councilor to accept.
Wu, 36, will now become the first woman, the first person of color, and the first Asian American to serve as Boston mayor, breaking the city’s long tradition of electing white men to the top office.
The former president of the Boston City Council ran on a progressive platform that emphasized racial, economic and climate justice. He garnered the support of voters with his commitments to align the city’s covenant to create free public transportation and close the racial wealth gap.
Boston Globe reported that Aceby George ran a “more liberal and traditional campaign”. In the end, Wu was able to garner the votes of progressives and Boston’s communities of color.
After his victory, Wu addressed the supporters.
“We’re ready for every Bostonian to know that we don’t have to choose between generational change and keeping the streetlights on, tackling big problems with bold solutions, and filling our potholes,” she said.
Wu reiterated his commitment to work on behalf of all citizens.
“I won’t stop fighting to make my system work for all of us,” she said.
Aftab Pureval, a 39-year-old lawyer and son of Indian and Tibetan immigrants, will become the first Asian-American mayor of Cincinnati.
Pureval’s victory was predicted after an unofficial return, acknowledged by his rival, longtime Cincinnati City Council member David Mann.
Pureval, who is the current clerk of the Hamilton County courts, seeks to bring new ideas to the city, with the goals of rebuilding Cincinnati’s economy, improving its police department and creating more affordable housing, as well as addressing public safety and transportation. Go on commitment.
Mann, the former Cincinnati mayor and US Congressman, campaigned as a seasoned candidate who would relentlessly guide the city out of the pandemic. Cincinnati Enquirer.
In a statement from his campaign on Wednesday, Pureval expressed his gratitude for the voter’s support.
“We have the vision, and I can’t wait to help foster growth and equity in Cincinnati. I am humbled to be part of the wave of newly elected Asian American mayors,” he said. “Representation matters, and that’s only the beginning.”
In Seattle, early returns indicated that Bruce Harrell, 63, who is half Black and half Japanese, would likely become the city’s first Asian American and second Black mayor.
According to Seattle TimesHarrell, a former member of the Seattle City Council, had secured 65% of the votes so far counted and maintained a nearly 30 percentage-point lead over rival and city council president M. Lorena Gonzalez.
“You believed in what we’re trying to do. We believe in this city. This city has tremendous potential,” Harrell said addressing supporters on Tuesday night.
His campaign put a strong focus on addressing Seattle’s homelessness problem and growing the city’s police force, while also dealing with concerns about systemic racism and implicit bias among first responders. Gonzalez’s campaign previously expressed support for the police department’s defense, according to Seattle Times.
Despite Harrell’s significant lead, Gonzalez said his campaign would wait for the final results of the election.
“We treat every vote as equal, regardless of when it was cast,” he said in a statement to supporters Tuesday night.