William Tong

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William Tong
William Tong Stamford Connecticut.jpg
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
from the 147th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Donald Sherer
Personal details
Born Hartford, Connecticut
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Tong
Children Eleanor Ming Lan Tong, Penelope Ming Li Tong, Alexander Ming Xiang Tong
Residence Stamford, CT
Alma mater Brown University,
University of Chicago Law School

William Morten Tong Chinese: 湯偉麟(born c. 1973[1]) serves as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. First elected in November 2006, he represents the 147th district, which includes parts of Stamford and New Canaan. Geographically the 147th is the largest district in Stamford, and includes Westover, North Stamford, Scofieldtown, as well as the western side of New Canaan.

Tong is the first Asian American to serve in the Connecticut General Assembly, and the first Asian American to be elected at the state level in Connecticut's history. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Energy and Technology committee[2] and serves on the General Law and Judiciary committees.

Tong was the first Connecticut legislator to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama for President.[3]

Family history[edit]

William's father, Ady, came to Hartford, Connecticut to look for work as a cook in a Chinese restaurant. He met William's mother Nancy, and had five children, William and his four sisters. William attended public and private schools in West Hartford. He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover and in 1995 from Brown University with honors, and after the University of Chicago Law School.

Professional career[edit]

Tong is an Associate Counsel at the law firm of Finn Dixon & Herling. Prior, Tong was an attorney with the international law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and a Management Consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He is a member of the state bars of New York and Connecticut, and practices before both state and federal courts. He formerly served as a Commissioner on the Personnel Commission of the City of Stamford, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the social services organization Person-to-Person.

Public service[edit]

State Representative[edit]

Tong wrote legislation to overhaul Connecticut's Criminal Justice Information System.[4] Tong has been at the forefront of efforts to eliminate "zone pricing" of gasoline in Connecticut. Recently Tong has taken on "big oil" by proposing a measure that would have required oil transporters and suppliers to disclose detailed price data to the state for analysis to ensure that consumers were not being gouged at the pump. This legislation was developed after Tong questioned three Quinnipiac University professors about a study that they had conducted at the behest of "big oil". The study found that price fluctuations were a result of normal market trends. When Tong requested that the data used in the study be disclosed, the professors refused and followed by claiming that the data has been destroyed.

Tong has also introduced legislation aimed at protecting citizens from abusive, misleading, and intrusive use of "robocalls" to support a political candidate or advance a political cause.

Tong supported the passage of legislation that created a state Asian Pacific American (APA) Affairs Commission. As one of the fastest growing communities in the country, the commission focuses on the specific needs of the Asian Pacific American community in Connecticut. It serves as a resource for the General Assembly, the Governor, and other executive branch agencies related to social, educational, health, economic development and civil rights concerns and interests to the APA community.

Locally, Tong worked with former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy and the Sustainable Stamford Task Force[5] to develop and host the "Stamford Energy Expo" on May 20, 2008.

During the 2009 legislative session Tong authored legislation that would classify biosolids as a class I renewable fuel source,[6] continued his push for transparency in the gasoline pricing,[7] and lead an effort to pass lyme disease legislation that would extend additional protections to doctors who treat patients with the disease.[8]

Consideration for U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut[edit]

On March 7, 2009, it was reported that Tong was being considered by a panel assembled by Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman to screen candidates for United States Attorney.[9] On November 14, 2009, the Hartford Courant reported that the panel assembled by Dodd and Lieberman had forwarded four names to the White House and President Barack Obama for consideration; Tong was included in that list.

2012 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On March 15, 2011 it was reported that Tong was considering a candidacy for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.[10] Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) had announced he would retire, leaving the seat open. Tong would face former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Rep. Chris Murphy in a potential Democratic primary.

The first week of May, 2011, Tong announced that he would seek the nomination, conceding that it would be "a heavy lift" to defeat Bysiewicz and Murphy.[1] The Tong campaign raised over $500,000 in the quarter ending June 30, 2011.[11] The final Federal Election Commission contribution tally was $1,063,993 for Team Tong.[12]

Personal life[edit]

William is married to his law school classmate and colleague, Elizabeth Tong, who is a corporate tax lawyer. Elizabeth and William are parents of two daughters, Eleanor Ming Lan Tong and Penelope Ming Li Tong, whom they call "Ming Ming" and "Ping Ping," and one son, Alexander Ming Xiang Tong,[13] whom they call Sacha. They share a home with two fox terriers in North Stamford.



External links[edit]

Connecticut House of Representatives
Preceded by
Donald B. Sherer
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from the 147th district