News & Election Videos

January 07, 2009

Could Asian-American win majority Hispanic seat?

Take a look at my colleague David Mark's piece about how an Asian-American candidate could end up prevailing in a majority-Hispanic southern California district in the special election to succeed Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.):

In the special House election to succeed Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-Calif.), who was recently tapped to become the Obama administration’s labor secretary, former Monterey Park Mayor Judy Chu stands to gain from a potentially crowded field of prominent Latino officeholders that could divide the Hispanic vote and enable her to capture the solidly Democratic, East Los Angeles-based seat.

All the candidates will run on a single ballot in the special primary election. If any one of them wins a majority of votes, that candidate takes the seat outright. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will square off eight weeks later in a special general election — essentially a runoff.

While the racially diverse district is about two-thirds Hispanic, it also has an unusually large Asian population — roughly 20 percent. As the only prominent Asian candidate in the race — and one who has drawn support from Hispanic voters in the past — Chu could benefit from a concentrated Asian vote to make it into a special general election if the Latino vote is divided among several candidates.

Shades of Steve Cohen, perhaps?