Young Kim

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Young Kim
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 65th district
In office
December 1, 2014 – November 30, 2016
Preceded bySharon Quirk-Silva
Succeeded bySharon Quirk-Silva
Personal details
Born (1962-10-18) October 18, 1962 (age 57)
Incheon, South Korea
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Southern California (BBA)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationGim Yeong-ok
McCune–ReischauerKim Yŏng'ok

Young O. Kim (born Kim Yong-ok; October 18, 1962) is an American politician who served in the California State Assembly. A Republican, she represented the 65th Assembly District, including parts of northern Orange County. She is the first Korean-American Republican woman elected to the California legislature.[2]

In 2018 Kim was the Republican Party candidate in California's 39th congressional district. Kim was defeated by Gil Cisneros in the general election.[3] Had she won, Kim would have become the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress.[4] She has filed to rematch Cisneros in 2020.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Kim was born in Incheon, South Korea, and spent her childhood in Seoul. She and her family left South Korea in 1975, living first on Guam, where she finished junior high school.[5]

She began studies at the University of Southern California in 1981, and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from that institution.[6]

After graduating from USC, Kim worked as a financial analyst for First Interstate Bank and then as a controller for JK Sportswear Manufacturing.[2] Kim also started her own business in the ladieswear field.[5]

Political career[edit]

Kim's husband met Ed Royce, then a state senator, while promoting a nonprofit, the Korean American Coalition.[2] Royce later hired Kim to work for him. When Royce was elected to the U.S. House, she continued to work for him, putting in a total of 21 years as the congressman's community liaison and director of Asian affairs.[5] During much of that time she also appeared regularly on her own television show, “LA Seoul with Young Kim,” and her own radio show, “Radio Seoul,” on which she discussed political issues affecting Korean Americans.[2]

California Assembly[edit]

She was elected to the Assembly in 2014, defeating Democratic Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva. In 2016, in turn, Quirk-Silva defeated Kim in a rematch.[7]

2018 House of Representatives election[edit]

In 2017, Kim announced she would be running for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, a nonpartisan office, in the 4th district, which includes the cities of Fullerton, Placentia, La Habra, and Brea, plus portions of Anaheim and Buena Park.[8] However, in January 2018, immediately after Royce announced his retirement, Kim publicly declared that she would instead enter the race to succeed Royce as the representative for California's 39th congressional district.[9] Royce endorsed Kim the day after announcing his retirement.[5] Her opponent was Democrat Gil Cisneros. Polls showed a tight race throughout the campaign, with FiveThirtyEight rating the race as a toss-up.[4] Early results on the night of the election showed Kim holding a 52.5%-47.5% lead,[10][11] but Kim ultimately lost the election to Cisneros, who received 50.8% of the vote to Kim's 49.2% after mail-in ballots were counted.[3] She conceded on November 18.[12]

2020 House of Representatives election[edit]

Kim has filed for a rematch against Gil Cisneros. If elected, she'll be the first Korean-American woman in Congress.[13]

Policy positions[edit]

Kim's platform for running for Assembly in 2016 included opposing changes to Proposition 13, which limits property taxes.[14] Her 2018 congressional platform included opposition to the Affordable Care Act, support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, support for "the anti-sanctuary city stance taken by the County Board of Supervisors"[15] and support for chain migration.[16][17][18] In 2018, NBC News reported that the issues important to Kim included "creating jobs and keeping taxes low", "beef[ing] up education funding in science, technology, engineering and math", and reforming the immigration system to "ensure those brought to the U.S. 'as children without legal documentation are treated fairly and with compassion.'"[5] She supports student loan forgiveness if the borrower is on the verge of bankruptcy.[16]

Kim opposed a California law "requiring schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms of their choice and participate in sports by their gender identity rather than their anatomical gender." She opposed the law over concerns that new school facilities could need to be constructed, additional spending could be required, students could change their identity "on a whim", and that male-to-female transgender students would have an unfair advantage in sports. She has said transgender individuals "deserve to be respected" but that she does not believe that LGBT individuals were born with their identities or orientations. Kim also opposes same-sex marriage.[19]

Kim favors reduced regulations and increased trade.[17] She is a fiscal conservative.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Kim and her husband, Charles Kim, have been married since 1986. They have four children. Their oldest, Christine, graduated from UC Irvine; the others, Hannah, Alvin, and Kelly, graduated from Cal State Fullerton.[21]

Charles has served as President of Inter-Community Action Network, a non-profit based in La Habra that promotes good relations between local government and the Korean community. He was also a founder of the Korean American Coalition and the Black-Korean Alliance.[22]

Electoral history[edit]

2014 California State Assembly election[edit]

California's 65th State Assembly district election, 2014
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Young Kim 21,593 54.7
Democratic Sharon Quirk-Silva (incumbent) 17,896 45.3
Total votes 39,489 100.0
General election
Republican Young Kim 42,376 54.6
Democratic Sharon Quirk-Silva (incumbent) 35,204 45.4
Total votes 77,580 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic

2016 California State Assembly election[edit]

California's 65th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sharon Quirk-Silva 42,890 54.3
Republican Young Kim (incumbent) 36,028 45.7
Total votes 78,918 100.0
General election
Democratic Sharon Quirk-Silva 69,806 52.5
Republican Young Kim (incumbent) 63,119 47.5
Total votes 132,925 100

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 加州眾議員韓裔候選人金映玉:有信心擠進初選前2名. World Journal (in Chinese). April 22, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d White, Jeremy B. "Assemblywoman Young Kim recalls parents' sacrifice to move to U.S." The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b California Republican Young Kim aims to become 1st Korean-American woman elected to Congress (ABC News)
  5. ^ a b c d e Fuchs, Chris. "Young Kim's Congressional campaign is a run two decades in the making". NBC. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Samuel Mountjoy (December 14, 2014). "Assemblywoman Young Kim takes oath of office at CSUF". The Daily Titan. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Christine Mai-Duc (November 17, 2016). "Assemblywoman Young Kim concedes in Orange County race against Sharon Quirk-Silva". LA Times. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  8. ^ "Former assemblywoman Young Kim to run for Orange County supervisor in 2018 – Orange County Register". Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  9. ^ TODAY, ASIA (January 11, 2018). "Former Korean-American Assemblywoman Enters Race for US Congress". Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Election 2018: Republican Young Kim poised to be first Korean-American woman in Congress (Los Angeles Daily News)
  11. ^ U.S. House of Representatives District 39 - Districtwide Results
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Young Kim for Assembly District 65". Orange County Register. October 23, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  15. ^ Rands, Jane (April 13, 2018). "Meet Some Candidates Running to Replace Congressman Ed Royce". Fullerton Observer. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "The Craziest Race in the House". November 3, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "39th District: Young Kim and Gil Cisneros". LA Times.
  18. ^ Meg Cunningham (November 1, 2018). "California Republican Young Kim aims to become 1st Korean-American woman elected to Congress".
  19. ^ "Schools dispute Assembly candidate's transgender-law argument". Orange County Register. October 2, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Christopher Palmeri (July 11, 2018). "Battle for House Control Runs Through California's Orange County". Bloomberg.
  21. ^ "About Young Kim". Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  22. ^ Park, Brian. "LA Riots Sped Growth of Fullerton's Korean Community". Retrieved October 22, 2018.

External links[edit]