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2012 election ushers in historic wins for Asian-American candidates
Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth is the first Asian-American to represent Illinois in Congress.
November 7th, 2012
05:07 PM ET

2012 election ushers in historic wins for Asian-American candidates

By Kyung Lah, CNN

(CNN) - Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders made history Tuesday night.

Thirty Asian-American candidates ran for national office, the largest number ever, up from 10 in 2010 and eight in 2008. Five new Asian-American and Pacific Islanders were elected, with one race still too close to call.

“The election of 2012 is historical in the sense of the number of AAPI candidates and the impact of AAPI voters in swing states," Floyd Mori, incoming interim president and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, said in a statement.

Historic number of Asian candidates

Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng won New York’s open seat in the 6th Congressional District to be elected to Congress. Her district, containing a large Asian-American population as well as a large Caucasian one, made this election about evolving demographics.

About 1.6 million Asian-Americans live in New York, but they have been traditionally under-represented in local politics and on the national political stage.

Meng joins Tammy Duckworth of Illinois as the first Asian-American members of Congress from their states.

Mazie Hirono also ushered in a wave of firsts, becoming the first foreign-born woman of Asian descent to be sworn into national office, the first Japanese immigrant to be elected to the U.S. Senate and the first female senator to represent Hawaii.

California Rep.-elect Mark Takano and Hawaii's Tulsi Gabbard round out the freshman class.

Ami Bera's race in California is still too close to call.

Eight Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus members were also re-elected to Congress.

The increased political representation matches the growth of Asian-Americans, now the largest group of immigrants in the U.S.. FULL POST

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Asian in America • History • Politics