Who are the Asian Americans in the local primaries?

Compiled by Keishi Matsuda
Northwest Asian Weekly

For the upcoming primary elections on Aug. 16, there are many Asian candidates who are aiming to represent the different communities in the Greater Seattle area. Listed below are some of the Asian American candidates that you may want to keep an eye on.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list — for one, we chose to omit candidates who did not submit biographies or photos — and that Northwest Asian Weekly does not endorse any candidates during the primaries.

Patsy Bonincontri
King County Council District No. 6
Opponents: Richard E. Mitchell, Jane Hague

Patsy Bonincontri, a Chinese American, has served on the Bellevue City Council since 2008. She also served on the planning commission of the City of Bellevue from 1998 to 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree and says she puts her enthusiasm over architecture into establishing great urban landscapes and building the community.  She states that she will improve infrastructure, quality of life, and human capital, which need to be secured for everyone, regardless of background, race, religion, or disability.

Betsy Elgar
Tacoma School District No. 10, Director, Position No. 3
Opponents: Dexter Gordon, Andrew K. Milton, Scott Heinze

Betsy Elgar became involved in politics when her daughter was 2 years old. She served on the Mt. Rainier Regional Representative Board from 2008 to 2010. She worked in health and human services, creating jobs in home care, adoption, foster care, orphanages, and nursing homes.

She says she cares particularly about social security administration and community development, such as affordable housing for disabled people and adding a child care center.

Francisco “Frank” Irigon
City of Newcastle Council Position No. 4
Opponents: Andrew T. Shelton, Gordon A. Bisset

Frank Irigon, a Filipino American, was the first Asian American student to serve in University of Washington student government. He served as the vice chair of the UW Asian Student Coalition. He then worked on issues related to International District and API concerns, most recently serving as executive director of Washington Asian Pacific Islander Families against Substance Abuse. His goal is establishing a good city without compromising on environmental issues or quality of life. He promises that his work and progress will be transparent and accountable.

Therese Ngo Pasquier
Puyallup School District No. 3, Director, Position No. 2
Opponents: Dane Looker, Michael D. Powell

Therese Ngo Pasquier, a Vietnamese American, worked for Tacoma Philharmonic as a development director. She has also worked at Harborview as a hospital administrator and LTC solutions as a vice president. Her objective is to find innovative and cost-effective ways to provide all students with opportunities to get the best quality education. In order to accomplish this, she plans to use what she has learned through volunteering at Puyallup High School. With years of experience in the school, she says she has developed keen insight into classroom issues. She is quite sure that her professional background and experience will help her accomplish her goals for education.

Ruth Sanoy
City of Tukwila Council Position No. 6
Opponents: Louise H. Strander, Kate Kruller

Sanoy, 80, is a Filipino American retired caregiver. She believes that her experience in dealing with people will allow her to push for projects that will benefit the City of Tukwila. She is a member of and is involved with the Filipino Community of Seattle and the International Drop-In Center.

Sanoy has a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and was a school teacher for 15 years.

Diana Toledo
Metropolitan King County Council District No. 8
Opponents: Joe McDermott, Goodspaceguy

Diana Toledo, a Filipino American, has served King County as an enforcement coordinator, animal cruelty investigator, and licensing supervisor for 15 years.

She says she will eliminate waste and go against cutting all social services. She believes that millions of dollars have been spent on ineffective and elitist programs. She says she will work on funding for kids, not for elites, creating a safe environment for employees, and reducing ineffective departments, which will save millions of dollars.

Those already moving on

In King County, the top two candidates who garner the most votes in the primary, regardless of political party, will move forward to the general election in November. The following candidates will automatically move on to the general election in November because they have only one or no other opponent.

Mia Gregerson
City of SeaTac Council Position No. 7

Gregerson is a Taiwanese American and surgical assistant and business manager of a dental clinic in West Seattle for 13 years.

Lloyd Hara
King County Assessor

Hara is Japanese American and has worked for the government since he was appointed King County Auditor at age 29.

Bruce Harrell
City of Seattle Council Position No. 3

Harrell is Japanese American and is a current City of Seattle Councilmember. He began his public service in 1980.

Doris McConnell
City of Shoreline Council Position No. 4

McConnell, a Japanese American, has been a member of Shoreline City Council since 2007.

Patrick Oishi
Superior Court Judge Position No. 24

Oishi, a Japanese American, previously served on the Pierce County Superior Court.

Sarah Sanoy-Wright
City of Renton Council Position No. 4

Sanoy-Wright, a Filipino American, is an expert in home economics and is a citizen politician.

Did we miss someone? Let us know about it at info@nwasianweekly.com. ♦

Keishi Matsuda can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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