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June 15, 2006

Cantwell opponent says Vietnamese-Americans deserve a U.S. Senator

Posted by David Postman at 11:38 AM

Hong Tran, one of two anti-war Democrats running against Maria Cantwell in the primary, is morphing her campaign into a nationwide effort to sell herself as a candidate not just for a Senate seat from Washington, but as a senator for Vietnamese immigrants wherever they may live in the country.

In a "call to the Vietnamese community nationwide" today, Tran said, "There are over a million Vietnamese-Americans in this country. We deserve a U.S. Senator, but I need your help to make that happen."

From the statement: "Tran hopes that her campaign will give voice to a nationwide Vietnamese community that currently has very little political representation."

Tran, an attorney with the Northwest Justice Project, was a refugee from the Vietnam War who came to the states when she was 8 years old. She says she's getting support from around the country as Asian newspapers report on the campaign.

A May 13 article in the Northwest Asian Weekly, still available on the paper's homepage, says, "While her ethnic background has no bearing on why she is running, Hong said, it's critical that Congress be a reflection of the people it represents."

"The U.S. was founded on immigrant labor and sweat. ... When we look to Congress, we mainly see white men legislators, (and) that sends a really powerful message to the minorities who are struggling. 'Those are the people in power, and I'm not there,' and, 'They're making laws that are affecting my life, and they're not getting it,' " Tran said.

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