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First Asian-American, 'Activist' Attorney General Elected To Statewide Office In Connecticut

William Tong Photo Credit: Daily Voice file
Not only did a Connecticut Democrat win the gubernatorial race, but Nutmeggers elected the first Asian-American to statewide office on Nov. 6 and only the second nationwide. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

A 45-year-old state representative from Stamford who grew up in the Hartford area marked another first for Connecticut politics on Election Day.

William Tong became the first Asian-American in the state's history to win a statewide office with his election as Attorney General.

Tong, the son of Chinese immigrants, has served six terms in the Connecticut House. 

Not only has Tong spoken out against President Trump's anti-immigrant stances, like banning birthright citizenship, but he has pledged to be an "activist attorney general," meaning he is expected to join other states in lawsuits challenging the federal government's heightened restrictions on environmental regulations, immigrant rights, gun control and other hot-button state and national issues. 

For other news coverage on Tong's activist views, click here. 

Tong's family owned several popular restaurants, including Town Sun Kitchen on Park Road in Hartford and Sam Pan in Wethersfield. When he was young, Tong helped at the family-owned businesses, from serving food to cleaning toilets.

Last week, the Democrat was elected state attorney general, becoming the first Asian-American to win statewide office in Connecticut, and only the second nationally after U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California.

Part of the win is attributed to an anti-Trump factor, and Ned Lamont's win as governor. But voters also appeared to be attracted to Tong's views on immigration, gun control and other progressive issues, according to political experts. 

Tong sees his barrier-breaking win as a validation of his parents’ struggles. The Asian-American population in Connecticut is growing, but it remains underrepresented within the state’s political leadership, he has said.

“Being first is hard,” Tong told the Hartford Courant.. “Asian-Americans have been slow, honestly, to buy in to the American political system and to be a full part of our civic life, to have a real seat at the table. . . so every time one of us wins a race it’s proof … that we can make inroads."

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