After primary wins by Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Tompkins County Legislator Nate Shinagawa, New York is poised to send not one but two Asian Americans to the 113th Congress in January. Shinagawa’s victory is more significant since he won in a non-Asian upstate district. Meng won in a district drawn with an Asian American majority.
This is exactly what the spirit of the Voting Rights Act intended to facilitate. Voters are free to elect (or nominate) the candidate of their choice. The VRA was not intended to create or preserve racial/ethnic silos. I hope that Governor Cuomo is encouraged to petition the federal district court in Washington, DC to remove NYS from Section 5 coverage of the Voting Rights Act (“Drawing districts to deepen divides“).
Here’s how the upstate Star-Gazette reported the Shinagawa win:
Tompkins County legislator Nate Shinagawa was the winner Tuesday night for the Democratic nomination for the newly drawn 23rd Congressional District.
The Associated Press declared Shinagawa the winner shortly before 11 p.m.
In returns from 589 of the sprawling district’s 596 precincts at about 11:45 p.m., Shinagawa had 55 percent of the vote. Leslie Danks Burke had 37 percent and Melissa Dobson 7 percent.
Shinagawa will be the Democratic to incumbent Republican Tom Reed, of Corning, in November.