William Lai in November 2010
|1st Mayor of Tainan|
25 December 2010
|Preceded by||Hsu Tain-tsair as Mayor of Tainan (Provincial city)|
October 6, 1959 |
Wanli, Taipei County (now New Taipei City), Taiwan
|Nationality||Republic of China|
|Political party||Democratic Progressive Party|
|Alma mater||Harvard School of Public Health
National Cheng Kung University
National Taiwan University
William Lai, M.D., also known by his romanised name Lai Ching-te is the mayor of Tainan, Taiwan. He took office in the newly created municipality, formed from the merger of Tainan City and Tainan County, on 25 December 2010. He served as a legislator in the Legislative Yuan from 1999 to 2010.
Born in Wanli, a rural coastal town in northern Taipei County (now New Taipei City) on October 6, 1959, Lai underwent schooling in Taipei City and studied at both National Cheng Kung University in Tainan and National Taiwan University in Taipei, where he specialized in rehabilitation. Lai then studied at the Harvard School of Public Health for a Masters degree in public health, followed by an internship at National Cheng Kung University Hospital. He became an expert on spinal cord damage and served as a national consultant for such injuries.
National Assembly and Legislative Yuan
After serving as part of the support team for Chen Ding-nan's unsuccessful electoral bid for Governor of Taiwan Province in 1994, Lai decided to enter politics himself. The next opportunity for election to a national body was the 1996 National Assembly, with Lai winning a seat representing Tainan City. Lai then stood as a candidate in the 1998 Legislative Yuan election, representing the Democratic Progressive Party in the second ward of Tainan City. He was successful in this election, and subsequently was reelected three times in 2001, 2004, and 2008. In total he served 11 years as a legislator, and was selected as Taiwan's "Best Legislator" four times in a row by Taipei-based NGO Citizen Congress Watch.
Mayor of Tainan
2010 municipal election
With the 2010 reorganization of the municipalities in Taiwan, Tainan City and Tainan County were amalgamated into a single municipality, called Tainan. After successfully being selected in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) primaries in January 2010, Lai stood as the DPP candidate for the mayoral election on 27 November 2010, gaining 60.41% to defeat Kuomintang candidate Kuo Tien-tsai. He took office on 25 December 2010.
|2010 Tainan City Mayoral Election Result|
|Kuomintang||1||Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財)||406,196||39.59%|
|Democratic Progressive Party||2||William Lai||619,897||60.41%|
As a result of his strong showing in the mayoral election coupled with his relative youth and his control of the DPP heartland city of Tainan, Lai is considered to be a potential candidate for a presidential run in 2016. In 2013 an opinion poll ranked Lai as the most popular of the 22 city and county heads in Taiwan, with an approval rating of 87%.
2014 municipal election
Lai stood for reelection on 29 November 2014 against Huang Hsiu-shuang of the Kuomintang. His opponent was considered to have such an uphill task in the DPP stronghold that she rode a black horse through the streets of Tainan as an election stunt; a hopeful allusion to her status as a "dark horse". Lai eventually won the election by 45 percentage points, the largest margin of victory in any of the municipal races in the election.
|2014 Tainan City Mayoral Election Result|
|2||Huang Hsiu-shuang (黃秀霜)||KMT||264,536||27.10%|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to William Lai.|
- 賴清德 (in Chinese). Legislative Yuan.
- 陳定南的牽手張昭義挺賴清德 (in Chinese), NOWnews
- Lai keeps DPP's solid grip on Tainan, Central News Agency
- 2009民進黨提名縣市長候選人連結 (in Chinese). Democratic Progressive Party. 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- William Lai takes Tainan by storm, Taipei Times, 28 November 2010
- A look ahead at Taiwan's 2016 presidential hopefuls, The China Post, 2012-01-16
- Tainan City's Lai tops satisfaction poll, Taiwan News, 2013-07-19, retrieved 2013-07-09
- Saturday’s elections seen as a litmus test for 2016, The Taipei Times
- TAIWAN INSIDER Vol. 1 No. 10, Thinking Taiwan
|Mayor of Tainan