Nearly 30 FilAms are candidates in Nov. 6 elections

Ben Cayetano

On the eve of the November 6th elections, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. released a list of Filipino Americans running for public office in the local and national polls, as Ambassador Jose Cuisia urged the community to “go out and vote.”

At least two Filipino Americans are running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. They are Dr. Marisha Agana, a Republican who is eyeing the seat for the 13thDistrict of Ohio and incumbent Democrat Rep. Robert Scott who is running for an 11th term as representative of the Third District of Virginia.

Rob Bonta

Fifteen other Filipino Americans are vying for state legislative seats in California, Pennsylvania and Hawaii. They are Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta (18th District); Chris Mateo (12th District) and Jennifer Ong (20thDistrict), all Democrats who are aspiring for seats in the California State Assembly; Will Sylianteng (151st District), a Democrat seeking a seat in the Pennsylvania State House; Henry Aquino (38th District); Romy Cachola (30th District); Gilbert S. Keith-Agaran (9th District); Della Au Belatti (24th District); Rida Cabanilla-Arakawa (41st District); Marissa Capelouto (42nd District); Ty Cullen (39th District); and Chris Manabat (40th District), all Democrats running for the Hawaii House of Representatives; and Will Espero (19th District); Donna Mercado Kim (14th District); and Donovan de la Cruz (22nd District), also Democrats running for seats in Hawaii’s Senate.

Rida Cabanilla-Arakawa

Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, the first Filipino-American governor, is a strong contender for mayor of Honolulu while Kymberly Marcos Pine, Joey Manahan and Ron Menor are aspiring for seats in Honolulu’s City Council. Also running are Greggor Ilagan (4th District) and Chelsea Yagong (1st District) for seats in the Hawaii County Council and Don Guzman for a seat in the Maui County Council.

In California, Jose Esteves is running for mayor of the City of Milpitas; Garry Barbadillo for a seat in the Milpitas City Council; Jim Navarro for a seat in the Union City Council; Hermy Almonte for a seat in the San Leandro City Council; and Stewart Chen for a seat in the Alameda City Council.

“Filipinos are the second largest ethnic group in America,” Cuisia said in a statement. “Let us use these numbers and play a bigger role in shaping the political, economic and social discourse in this country.”

Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, there are an estimated 3.5 million Filipinos, most of them in the West Coast, particularly in California. A survey by the National Asian American Survey (Naas) show that among Asian Americans, Filipino Americans are the ones most likely to go out and vote. They thus represent a significant voting population, according to the Filipino envoy.

“We are counting on you to help make this happen by making sure that you take part in tomorrow’s electoral exercise,” Cuisia said as he rallied voting-eligible FilAms to support their ‘kababayans.’

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