I got sent in some e-mail from William Tong's campaign manager and while Hiram Fong was the first Chinese American Senator, if elected, William Tong would be the first Chinese American Senator in the continental United States -- that means stateside.
Here's a little more on Tong from his campaign site.
This is a campaign that began with just 57 cents. That is all William Tong’s father had when he immigrated to Connecticut. Like many Americans, William’s parents believed in the opportunities that this country affords and the principle of giving everyone a fair shot. These beliefs are at the core of William’s campaign for the U.S. Senate today.
William’s parents made every sacrifice for William and his sisters. Their drive and sacrifice enabled William to go to Phillips Academy (Andover) and Brown University. He later completed his law degree at the University of Chicago, where he studied Constitutional Law under Barack Obama.
As an adult, William never forgot the long hours he spent as a child working side-by-side with his parents in their family restaurant. He spent nights and weekends washing dishes, cooking and waiting tables – learning first-hand what it is to struggle, to run a small business, and to confront the challenges that working families face every day.
And he learned to fight and compete.
It was that fight, and that competitive spirit, that drove William in his historic campaign for State Representative in 2006. He soundly beat an entrenched Republican incumbent to make history as the first Democrat ever to represent the 147th District in the General Assembly, and the first Asian Pacific American elected at the state level in Connecticut’s history. In 2008, he was the first elected official in Connecticut to endorse then Senator, Barack Obama for President.
Representative William Tong has been called one of the most exciting and fastest rising stars in the Democratic Party. In Connecticut Magazine, William was voted by his peers from the Connecticut General Assembly as the legislator with the “Best Promise for the Future” and was referred to in the Hartford Courant as the “Asian Obama”.
After the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, William was appointed Chairman of the committee that oversees and regulates the banking and financial services industries. William has used that leadership position to significantly expand Connecticut’s Foreclosure Mediation program (Public Act No. 11-201), a national model for foreclosure relief that has helped to keep 65% of participating families stay in their homes.
In his first six months of service, William spearheaded the Lost and Stolen Firearms Bill (Public Act No. 07-163), a landmark bill aimed to stop the spread of illegal guns in our cities. He also passed Public Act 10-176, legislation that gives Connecticut’s Attorney General the power to investigate big oil companies and unfair gasoline prices.
Though his service in the state legislature has demanded many sacrifices from his family, William is proud of his work and grateful for the support of his wife, Elizabeth, also an attorney. William and Elizabeth have a growing family that includes two little daughters, Eleanor and Penelope, and a newly born son, Alexander “Sasha” Tong. It is their future and the future of all Connecticut’s families that he’s fighting for.