March Fong Eu

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March Fong Eu
余江月桂
25th Secretary of State of California
In office
1975–1994
Preceded by Jerry Brown
Succeeded by Tony Miller
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 15th district
In office
1967–1974
Preceded by Nicholas C. Petris
Succeeded by S. Floyd Mori
Personal details
Born (1922-03-29) March 29, 1922 (age 92)
Oakdale, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Henry Eu
Children Matt Fong

March Kong Fong Eu (Chinese: 余江月桂; pinyin: Yú Jiāng Yuèguì; Jyutping: Jyu4 Gong1 Jyut6 Gwai3; born March 29, 1922) is an American politician of the Democratic Party. Fong earned a Bachelor of Science in dentistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1943 and a Master of Arts from Mills College. She earned a Ed.D. from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 1954.

In 1966 Fong was elected to the California State Assembly from the 15th District, representing Oakland and Castro Valley. She served four terms. Fong Eu led the campaign to ban pay toilets, arguing that they discriminated against women since urinals were free. Eu was elected Secretary of State of California in 1974, becoming the first Asian American woman ever elected to a state constitutional office in the United States. Eu was the only woman to serve as California Secretary of State until 2006, when voters elected Debra Bowen. Eu was elected Secretary of State five times. In 1976, she became the first woman to serve as governor of California, serving as acting governor while Jerry Brown was away. [1] In 1978 she won every county in the state, even heavily Republican Orange County, making her one of only four Democrats to win the county in a statewide race in the last half century.

In 1987 Eu was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, running against Leo McCarthy for the right to challenge the Republican incumbent, Pete Wilson. Amid poor fund-raising totals and her husband's unwillingness to release details of his business interests, Eu dropped out later that year.[2] President Bill Clinton appointed Eu as United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia in 1994. She served in that post until 1996. In 2002,Fong ran again for Secretary of State, but narrowly lost in the Democratic primary to Kevin Shelley, who went on to win the election. In 2003 she filed a statement of intention to run for governor of California in the gubernatorial recall election of Gray Davis, but later withdrew.

Fong is a Democrat, while her adopted son, Matt Fong was a Republican activist who served as California State Treasurer for a four year term that began January 1995. She argued that pay toilets discriminated against women because men could use urinals for free whereas women always had to pay a dime for a toilet stall in places where payment was mandatory.[3]

Eu lives in both Sacramento and Singapore; she lives with her second husband Henry Eu, a multimillionaire industrialist.

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California Assembly
Preceded by
Nicholas C. Petris
California State Assemblywoman, 15th District
1967–1974
Succeeded by
S. Floyd Mori
Political offices
Preceded by
Jerry Brown
California Secretary of State
1975–1994
Succeeded by
Tony Miller
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Aurelia Erskine Brazeal
U.S. Ambassador to Micronesia
1994-1996
Succeeded by
Cheryl A. Martin, Charge d'Affaires, a.i.