First majority Asian district in California chooses a Republican *Updated
In the 49th District State Assembly race, surgeon and former San Marino mayor Matthew Lin finished first with more than half the votes. He will face off against Montebello Board of Education member Edwin Chau, an attorney, in November. Monterey Park Councilman Mitchell Ing was eliminated from the race.
Lin, a Republican, who tried to adopt basketball phenomenon Jeremy Lin's trademark "Linsanity," had a surprisingly strong finish in the polls. The current Assemblyman Mike Eng, who will be termed out, is among a long list of Democratic supporters backing Chau. Eng's wife, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and Alhambra Councilman Luis Ayala, who launched a campaign for the Assembly seat but dropped out, were among other backers. Ing is also a Democrat, and many of his votes will likely now transfer to Chau in the general election.
Turnout was light with only 16 percent of registered voters.
The 49th District, due to redistricting, became the first majority Asian district in California last year, and the second in the continental United States after Flushing, Queens. It is the first to have all Chinese American candidates vying for election, World Journal (世界日報) reported, but despite three candidates and continuous calls for participation, Chinese voters haven’t shown strong enthusiasm.
Arcadia Patch is reporting that Lin says Ing called him and offered to endorse him in the November election. Ing and Chau sparred during the primary race, in particular regarding Chau's recent transfer of residency to Monterey Park. “It’s a non-issue,” Chau told Patch of those who question his residency. “I’m the candidate who has served the district the longest and covered the largest area—Montebello, Monterey Park, San Gabriel. I’ve had a law practice in Alhambra for more than 10 years.”