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Korean American Andy Kim is re-elected to a third term

Posted November. 10, 2022 07:49,   

Updated November. 10, 2022 07:49


Democrat Andy Kim was reelected Tuesday to a third term in New Jersey, where the White accounts for 76 percent of the population. It has been 26 years since a Korean American was elected to a third term.

The U.S. media reported that Andy Kim defeated Republican Bob Healy by a huge margin, winning 54.9 percent of the votes when 95 percent have been counted. It has been the first in 26 years that a Korean American to serve in Congress for a third term since former Congressman Kim Chang-joon in 1996.

“I want to show people who have been disillusioned by deteriorating politics that there are other ways,” said Mr. Kim. “I believe we can heal this nation.”

The 3rd congressional district of New Jersey is a Republican-leaning state where former President Donald Trump won the election in 2016 and 2020. Mr. Kim, re-elected to a second term in the 2020 midterm by overcoming such a Republican-friendly environment, appeared to have relatively strong re-election odds for a third term, thanks to the redrawn constituency, where a predominantly Republican district was substituted with a more Democrat-leaning territory.

Born in 1982 in Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Kim graduated from the University of Chicago and received a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Oxford. His expertise is in security in the Middle East. During the Obama administration, Mr. Kim began working for the U.S. State Department in 2009. He served as a Strategic Planning and Cost Management Advisor to Generals Petraeus and Allen in Afghanistan and a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Iraq Office, where he contributed his expertise to devise the U.S. response to the IS.

Although Republican candidate Bob Healey, an ex-punk rocker turned millionaire, launched a negative campaign by capitalizing on the anti-Asian sentiment among White voters, Mr. Kim made pitches to voters by emphasizing that he could tap into his position as an incumbent representative and has more expertise. Mr. Kim gained public attention when he was caught picking up trash in the U.S. Capitol after the January 6 Capital riot last year.

Jeong-Soo Hong hong@donga.com