LAS VEGAS — With less than 20 days to go before Election Day, one of the hot races to watch is the state’s 3rd Congressional District, where Asian Americans comprise 16 percent of the population.
The district, which has been represented by Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) since 2011, covers Henderson, Boulder City, and parts of Las Vegas and Clark County.
With Heck vying for the U.S. Senate, Jacky Rosen is hopeful that she can turn the seat blue.
The political newcomer, who has built a career as a computer programmer and software developer, was personally tapped by Sen. Harry Reid Reid (D-Nev.) to run for the office.
On Monday, Oct. 10, Rosen was joined by Rep. Ted Lieu of California’s 33rd District to speak about the untapped potential of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) — an electorate that can help Rosen win.
“In Nevada, Asian Americans now form enough voters to make a difference in an election. They can be the swing vote in a swing state that decides the next president,” Lieu said. “So it’s enormously important for the community to get out and vote.”
The AAPI population is the fastest-growing minority group in the state, increasing by 116 percent, according to the last U.S. Census.
In her remarks, Rosen shared her family’s immigration story of fleeing their home country and being the first in her family to attend college — a familiar narrative that she said many AAPIs can relate to.
Touting her experience as president of the Congregation Ner Tamid — the largest synagogue in the state — Rosen is “clearly the best-qualified candidate,” said Lieu.
“Jacky’s opponent has endorsed Trump, embraces Trump, and it is just a very clear difference for the Asian American voters here, who they need to vote for in November,” the congressman said, citing the Republican presidential nominee’s anti-immigrant stance, including the controversial Philippines as a ‘terrorist nation’ comment.
Rosen is running against Republican commercial real estate developer Danny Tarkanian, who previously had unsuccessful attempts for the state Senate, secretary of state, the 4th Congressional District, and U.S. Senate.
Tarkanian was endorsed by local organizations, such as the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Asian American Group, both noting his track record in business and reaching out to the AAPI community. (He previously shared his views on small business growth and immigration with the Asian Journal.)
To undecided voters in the district, Rosen said the main responsibility of working in the best interests of the district’s constituents is what motivated her to run for office.
“That’s what really spoke to me about the job is that I can really impact lives here for large businesses, small businesses, community banks, getting access to capital, helping veterans or seniors…and then take what I learn and what I know and take those voices to Washington to help inform my decisions…,” she appealed.
She continued, “Wanting to make the world a better place, wanting to really serve here in the district and make sure I can make a difference in the 3rd district for individuals speaks really strongly to me.”
After speaking with AAPI reporters, Lieu and Jacky Rosen participated in a potluck and phone bank.
As of this writing, polls show Rosen at 42.5 percent and Tarkanian at 41.5 percent, according to ElectionProjection.com.