Republicans believe strongly in equal rights and we strive to ensure we are creating a better future for our families and the next generations. We are dedicated to a high-quality education system that will ensure our students can excel and achieve their goals through innovation and exploration.
Our nation was built by and continues to flourish thanks to the hard work of immigrants, many of whom are small business owners throughout our nation today. Republicans recognize that our nation’s small business owners are the backbone of our economy, and that our advocacy of a low-tax and pro-business climate is strongly supportive of individual achievement and prosperity.
George Ariyoshi, who served as the Governor of Hawaii from 1974 to 1986, was the first American of Asian descent to be elected governor of a state of the United States. He continues to hold the record as the longest-serving state governor in Hawaii.
In 1996 Gary Locke was elected governor of the state of Washington, becoming the first Chinese American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian American governor on the mainland. Locke served as governor from 1997-2005.
Bobby Jindal served in various executive positions in Louisiana and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services before being elected to the Congress in 2004, and finally winning the Louisiana gubernatorial elections in 2007 (thereby becoming the first non-white governor of Louisiana since Reconstruction), the first elected Indian American governor in U.S. history, as well as the second Asian American governor to serve in the continental United States.
Nikki Haley is the 116th and current Governor of South Carolina. Haley previously represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2010. She is the first Sikh American governor in the United States, first female governor of South Carolina, second elected Indian American governor in U.S. history, as well as the third Asian American governor to serve in the continental United States. Nikki Haley's election wasn't the only first for Asian Americans to occur during the 2010 election cycle. In California Kamala Harris, who is half-Indian American, became the first female, first African American, and first Asian American state attorney general in the United States.See also: List of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States Congress and Members of the 111th United States Congress#Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.
Asian Americans make up 1.25% of congressional population in 2009. However, as 4.4% of the total population in the United States, this 1.25% still represents less than one-third of the total Asian American population.
Benito Legarda y Tuason and Pablo Ocampo joined the House in 1907 as Resident Commissioners, becoming the first Asian Americans to serve in the Congress, albeit as non-voting members, and beginning therepresentation of the Philippines which ended in 1946.
Dalip Singh Saund, an Indian American from Imperial and Riverside Counties, was the first South Asian American elected into Congress, and was one of only two Indian Americans to have been elected, serving from 1957 to 1963. Hiram Fong, who served three decades in the Senate from 1959 to 1977, became the first Chinese American member of Congress, and first Asian American senator. Daniel Inouye (who served from 1959-2012) was the first Japanese American in the House and later the first in Senate. Spark Matsunaga was the second Japanese American to serve in the House (served 1971-77). Matsunaga and S. I. Hayakawa were the second and third Japanese Americans to serve in the Senate. Matsunaga served in the Senate between 1977 and 1990, while Hayakawa served in the Senate between 1977 and 1983.
Patsy Mink (served 1965-77 and again from 1990–2002) was the first Asian American woman and the first Japanese American woman to serve in Congress. Norman Mineta (served 1975-95) was the fourth Japanese American to serve in the House. Bob Matsui (served 1979-2005) was the fifth Japanese American to serve in the House. Bobby Scott, elected in 1993, is the first US born member of Congress to have Filipino ancestry. He was joined byJay Kim, the first Korean American to be elected to Congress, as well as first Korean elected to a national office outside of Korea; since he left office there have been no Korean Americans in Congress. In 1998, David Wu was elected and became the only Chinese American of Taiwanese ancestry to serve be a member of Congress. Wu resigned in 2011, which was followed by a brief absence of Taiwanese Americans in Congress until the election of Grace Meng in 2012.
John Ensign, who is part Filipino American, was elected to the senate in 2000 and resigned resigned in 2011; there have been no Filipino American senators since. In 2008, Joseph Cao of Louisiana became the first elected Vietnamese American in Congress; since he left office in 2011 there have been no Vietnamese Americans in Congress. In 2010, Inouye was sworn in as President Pro Tempore making him the highest-ranking Asian American politician in American history. That same year, Charles Djou became the first Thai American to be elected to Congress; he left Congress in 2011, and no Thai American served in the Congress until Tammy Duckworth was elected in 2012 as the first female Thai American, as well as the first Thailand-born representative. In 2011, Representative Hansen Clarke became the first Bangladeshi American to service in Congress.There are seven Asian Americans in the House and two in the Senate. Representatives Mike Honda, Doris Matsui, Mazie Hirono, and Colleen Hanabusa are all Japanese Americans. Senator Daniel Akaka is part Native Hawaiian and part Chinese American. Representative Judy Chu is Chinese American. There are two Filipino Americans, Representatives Bobby Scott and Steve Austria, both of whom are Multiracial Americans. There is one South Asian American, a Bangladeshi American Representative Hansen Clarke, in Congress, he is also a Multiracial American.Norman Mineta became the first Asian American cabinet member, serving as Secretary of Commerce in 2000, then was appointed Secretary of Transportation between 2001 and 2006. Elaine Chao was selected as a White House Fellow, and then served in a series of appointed posts prior to becoming the Secretary of Labor from 2001 to 2009; she became the first, and as of February 2011 only, Asian American woman to be in the U.S. Cabinet.
Gary Locke became the first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce, and the third Asian American in the present cabinet. He joined Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the most Asian Americans in any administration in United States history, to date.