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Former Assembly Leader Says Sukhee Kang Will Be Able to “Work Across the Aisle”

LOS ANGELES – Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez today announced his support of Sukhee Kang, the Democratic candidate for the open 29th Senate District, located at the confluence of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

“As the former speaker of the Assembly, I worked well with members in both houses and on both sides of the aisle to do the people’s business,” Pérez said. “Given his long experience in non-partisan elected local government positions, including as a big-city mayor, Sukhee Kang has all the necessary makings of great state senator. He will be able to work not only with the Democratic majority, but also across the aisle to serve and benefit the people of the 29th District.”

“I want to thank Speaker Emeritus Pérez for his endorsement in my race for the state Senate,” Kang said. “His leadership of the Assembly for more than four years was exemplary in the major accomplishments he shepherded through the Legislature, and his close collaboration with two governors of both parties demonstrated how bi-partisanship should work in serving the people.”

Kang also has earned the endorsement of the leader of the state Senate, President Pro Tem Kevin de León, as well as Assembly Speaker-Designate Anthony Rendon.

Pérez led the state Assembly as speaker from March 2010 to May 2014, and was the first openly gay person to be chosen speaker. In the Assembly and as speaker, he played a key role in the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in California, including sponsoring legislation to establish the health-insurance exchange in the state, and to extend Medi-Cal coverage to more low-income families. In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Pérez to the UC Board of Regents, on which he also had served ex officio as speaker. Before his election to the Assembly, Pérez was a political director of the California Labor Federation and an official of a major union.

Kang was a two-term city councilmember in Irvine, as well as a two-term mayor of the city, reelected overwhelmingly in 2010 with more than 64 percent of the 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 38 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 and Los Angeles counties, including Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León. The district is currently represented by 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. In 2009, Kang was recognized as one of the O.C. Metro’s “Hot 25 Platinum Civic Leaders.”

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, 34, and Angie, 32, 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.


For more information on the campaign:

See the full list of Kang’s endorsements here.

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Sukhee Kang for State Senate 2016
1038 East Bastanchury Road #303
Fullerton. CA 92835 / @kangforsenate

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