Asian American California Gubernatorial Candidate Picks Up Two Huge Endorsements
California gubernatorial candidate and current state treasurer, John Chiang picked up two huge endorsements Tuesday morning. State Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, and Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield threw their support behind him.
Chiang, a 55-year-old Torrance, CA resident received the endorsements while stumping for votes in the San Fernando Valley. Chiang later went to Art’s Deli in Studio City where he discussed the issue of racial tension in the United States with local activists.
Chiang is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. He was born in New York City and grew up in Chicago.
He has served as California State Treasurer since January 2015. He previously served as California State Controller from 2007 to 2015 and on the California Board of Equalization from 1997 to 2007.
He graduated with honors in finance from the University of South Florida and has a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
According to his campaign website, Chiang “has made it easier for taxpayers to hold their government officials accountable by launching a website to make pay, benefits and borrowing costs for state and local governments available online, spanning back three decades.”
“When Wall Street banks — like Wells Fargo – began ripping off innocent Californians by the millions of dollars they didn’t have, John hit them where it hurt most. Thanks to John’s grit, Wells Fargo was cut off from their most profitable lines of business with the largest state in the union– California,” his campaign website said.
Chiang was also one of the architects of Secure Choice, a state sponsored retirement plan that will help 7.5 million Californians, with almost no cost to the state.
“Chiang is currently not the frontrunner in the race, but he has extensive experience, serious approach to the issues and enough of a fundraising base to be a viable contender,” said John J. Pitney Jr., professor of government and politics at Claremont McKenna College.
“He has a strong core in the Asian-American community,” Pitney added. “In the top-two primary, he may well draw support from independents and some Republicans who like his reputation for fiscal prudence.”
Pitney described Chiang as a progressive on social issues but a realist on fiscal matters.
“When it comes to budgets, he understands arithmetic. By California standards, anyone who understands arithmetic is a moderate,” he said. Commenting further on Chiang’s financial management experience, Pitney said that “Chiang’s fiscal savvy would prove valuable if the current economic expansion ends and the Golden State enters into a recession again.”
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is one of Chiang’s rivals that have core support in San Francisco where he served two terms as mayor. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is another rival. He once served as state Assembly speaker and has his core support in L.A. even though he has been out of office for years.
If elected, Chiang — who also served as state controller and has held statewide office for a decade, would become California’s first Asian-American governor.
Pitney said he would be “surprised if most Californians knew who he is.”
However, if there is significant mudslinging in the campaign between Newsom and Villaraigosa — both of whom have had personal scandals in their past — that could end up “pushing John up” to a higher profile, Pitney said.
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