Photo by: Dave Askins –

CHICAGO – At least seven of some 40 Filipino-American candidates won in last Tuesday’s (Nov. 6) elections, while six others ran unopposed.

In Michigan, former Milan mayor Owen Diaz, a Filipino-American GOP candidate, lost in his bid to be elected state representative of the 55th district.

Interviews and research conducted by the Journal Group Link International showed that the winners included incumbent US Rep. Robert Cortez “Bobby” Scott, an African-American whose maternal grandfather is a Filipino-American. He was reelected for his 11th term as representative of the 3rd District of Virginia, defeating GOP challenger Dean Longo.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Six other Filipino-American bets run unopposed [/box]Filipino-American Dr. Marisha Agana, a Republican running for the US 13th newly-drawn congressional district in Ohio, was soundly beaten by Democrat Tim Ryan, who collected 218,555 votes (73 percent) compared with Agana’s 82,799 votes (27 percent).

Incumbent City of Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta, who is Alameda County transportation commissioner and deputy city attorney for the County of San Francisco, was likely to become the first Filipino-American member of the non-partisan California State Assembly as he led with 23,131 votes (52.6 percent) his rival Abel Guillen who had  20,851 votes (47.4 percent) in the early election returns for the 18th District. Both are Democrats.

Filipino-American optometrist Jennifer Ong, a greenhorn politician, was closely trailing Bill Quirk with 20,373 votes (47.9 percent) compared with the latter’s 22,156 votes (52.1 percent) in the race for the 20th District seat in the California State Assembly.

Incumbent Vice Mayor of the City of Lathrop, Christopher Mateo, whose is a Democrat, was losing at a 1-2 ratio to Kristin Olsen, a Republican, by garnering 23,361 votes (36.6 percent). Olsen collected 40,393 votes (63.4 percent).

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Jose Esteves, incumbent and five-time mayor of the City of Milpitas in California, was assured of reelection for the sixth time as he led 3-1 his rival Rob Means, who tallied 2,133 votes (27.46 percent). Esteves garnered 5,634 votes (72 percent) in the count of early voting returns.

Retired college administrator Filipino-American Rudy Nasol clobbered Jeremy Sumabon, 2-1, by chalking up 9,442 votes (63.01 percent) as against the latter’s 5,542 (36.99 percent).

Two-term Union City Council member Jim Navarro was a cinch to be re-elected, garnering 4,009 votes (69.04 percent) compared with rival Jose Estrella who recorded 1,750 votes (30.14 percent) in the initial count of votes.

Independent candidate Leonard Tengco has wrapped up the position of Virginia Beach School Board member by tallying 63,419 votes (55.36 percent),  beating fellow independent candidate Eric V. Wray Jr., who had 51,118 votes (44.62 percent) with votes from 94 out of 95 precincts already counted.

Other Filipino-American closely trailing their rivals was Milpitas City Planning Commissioner Alternate and Parks Recreation Garry Barbadillo, who was running for one of two positions of Milpitas City Council member. At third place with 2,351 votes (17.15 percent), he was behind Debbie Giordano who garnered 2,915 votes (21.27 percent) and Carmen Montano who got 2,534 votes (18.49 percent) in the early counting of votes. Four other candidates were bringing up the rear.

Stewart Chen, another Filipino-American, was at third place in his bid for two of the City Council seats of Alameda. He had 3,475 votes (17.31 percent). Ahead of Chen were Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft who recorded  5,135 votes (25.57 percent) and Tony Daysog who garnered 3,586  (17.86 percent) with votes from 14 of the 45 precincts already reported.

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Two-term trustee Vince Songcayawon, a Filipino-American, was losing his bid for reelection as a member of the Evergreen School District’s Board of Trustees. He had 6,760 votes (32.33 percent), while front-runner Bonnie Mace chalked up 8,271 votes (39.56 percent).

Also losing were Filipino-American Hermy B. Almonte with his 3,71 votes (42.30 percent) to Jim Prola who collected 4,386 votes (56.84 percent) in the election for members of City Council (District 6), San Leandro; Rebecca de La Cruz who was losing her bid for Daly City clerk to K. Annette Hipona, who collected 7,912 votes (60 percent);  Thelma Boac, who was a candidate for member of the Governing Board of the East Side Union High School District; and Will Sylianteng, 151st District of Pennsylvania State House, who collected 13,457 votes (40.4 percent) compared with Todd Stephens who had 19,879 votes (59.6 percent).

Running unopposed were Filipino-Americans Atty. Jessica O’Brien, who garnered 90.71 of the votes from 1,845 of 2034 precincts for the  position vacated by Judge Henry Simmons Jr. of the Cook County Circuit Court Judge in Illinois; Donna Mercado Kim, State Senate of Hawaii’s 14th District; Will Espero, State Senate, of Hawaii’s 19th District; and Gil Keith-Agaran, State House, 9th District, and Henry Aquino, State House, 38th District, both of Hawaii.

As of last Nov. 7, results of Hawaii’s elections were unavailable. Filipino Americans running for office in the state were former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, who was running for mayor of Honolulu; Donovan de la Cruz, State Senate, 22nd District; Della au Belatti, State Senate, 24th District; Romy Cachola, State Senate, 30th District; Christ Manabat, 40thDistrict; Rida Cabanilla-Arakawa, 41st District; Marissa Capelouto, representative, 42nd District; Kymberly Marcos Pine and Joey Manahan, candidates for council seat; Chelsea Yagong for Council District 1; Greggor Ilagan for council seat in Big Island; Ron Menor for 9th Council district; and Don Guzman for seat, district of Kahului, in the Maui County Council.