Chinese-American runs for Maryland state Senate

Updated: 2014-10-29 14:58

By HUA SHENGDUN in Washington(China Daily USA)

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Chinese-American runs for Maryland state Senate

Susan Lee, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, who will run for the state Senate on Nov 4, speaks to supporters at a fundraiser in Rockville on Tuesday. Liu Chang / China Daily.

Chinese-Americans are going mainstream in the US political process, said a Maryland state Senate candidate.

"Chinese-Americans nowadays are increasingly getting involved in the American political process, whether they are voting for candidates that support our community, or running for themselves," said Susan C. Lee, who has served in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2002 and is running for a state Senate seat.

Lee will face Republican Meyer Marks in Tuesday's election for the right to represent District 16, which covers Bethesda, Chevy Chase and part of Potomac, Maryland.

As a potential first female Asian-American state senator from Maryland, the Bethesda Democrat has served three terms in the House of Delegates, where she has worked on a wide range of issues including education funding, environmental protection and Social Security, especially for Asian immigrants in the region.

"In the past 12 years, many changes happened in my community, and there are a lot more to come," Lee told China Daily at the political fund-raiser at Seven Seas Restaurant in Rockville, Maryland.

Lee's background as a lawyerhas helped her serve local immigrants, said Lisa Liu, president of the US-China Association of Commerce and one of the fund-raiser's organizers.

"We hold the fund-raiser not only for interests of the Chinese-Americans, but also the Asian immigrants," Liu said.

About 13 Asian Pacific-Americans were elected to the 113th United States Congress, and a total of 52 have served in the House and Senate since 1900, according to a congressional report.

"It's great to see Lee involved in the mainstream political dialogue and be a big success for our Asian-Americans, not only at the local level, but of the whole country," said Pradeep Ganguly, executive vice president of the Prince Georges County Economy Development Corporation.

"Lee has done a great job for the region for 12 years, which really proves the melting pot of America," said Marc Korman, Democratic delegate nominee of Montgomery County. "It's high time that more Chinese-Americans stand out and speak for themselves since large amounts of them settled down from China to the US decades ago," said Korman. He said Lee's candidacy would inspire future generations.

Sheng Yang contributed to this story.