Jay Chen

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Jay Chen (born February 23, 1978) is a Democratic American politician and community leader. He has served on the Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees since 2015, and formerly as an Hacienda La Puente Unified School District school board member. In 2012, he was the Democratic candidate in California's 39th congressional district against Ed Royce.


Jay Chen grew up in Hacienda Heights, California and graduated from Glen A. Wilson High School. He earned a B.A. from Harvard University where he graduated with honors in 2001 and studied Mandarin on fellowship at Peking University the following year.

Military career[edit]

Chen holds the rank of Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve, serving as an intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Political career[edit]

Chen began serving as an elected official in 2007 when he was elected to the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District Board of Education. During his time as a member of the board, Chen twice served as president and led initiatives to create language immersion programs and free SAT tutoring throughout the district.[1]

In 2012, Chen ran for Congress in California's 39th congressional district against Republican incumbent Ed Royce. Chen received 42.4 percent of the vote in the November general election, including a majority of votes in Los Angeles County. His 106,360 votes overall were the most ever received by a Democratic candidate running against Royce. Moreover, Chen did much better than previous Royce opponents among the Asian American community, earning 62% of the overall Asian American vote, and 95% of the Chinese American vote.[2]

In 2015, Chen was elected to Mt. San Antonio College’s Board of Trustees, where he currently represents District 5. Chen has also been appointed to the Los Angeles County Library Commission by County Supervisor Janice Hahn and to the California Student Opportunity and Access Program by California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

Following Royce’s January 2018 announcement that he would not be seeking reelection, Chen declared his candidacy to run once again in the 39th congressional district election. Despite being one of the frontrunners to replace Royce, he suspended his campaign two months later to consolidate the Democratic field for California’s top-two primary system.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Chen is the owner of a small real estate company and lives in Hacienda Heights, California with his wife Karen and two young boys.


  1. ^ "Mt. San Antonio College Profile Page". Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  2. ^ Sadhwani, Sara (May 1, 2018). "Will Asian Americans make California even bluer in November?". Washington Post.
  3. ^ Dann, Carrie (March 13, 2018). "Dem field in competitive CA-39 race gets a little less crowded". NBC News.

External links[edit]