Compiled by Staff
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
In the upcoming primary election, King County voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on four ballot measures and 56 races for a total of 218 candidates, including those running for city and county council, mayor, school board, and in special districts across the county.
Here’s a look at all the AAPI candidates on the ballot.
Port of Seattle, Commissioner Position 2
Shridhar is a 27-year resident of King County and helped launch the City of Seattle’s Climate Protection Initiative, along with other recycling and conservation programs. She worked with former Vice President Al Gore to launch his movement to stop climate change, won an Emmy for promoting water conservation, and received awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities for inclusion and equity.
Cho is a lifelong Washingtonian and son of South Korean immigrants. He is the founder of an international export company that works directly with the Port of Seattle.
He served under President Barack Obama as a political appointee at the U.S. General Services Administration and working as a Legislative Assistant in both Congress and the Washington State Legislature.
City of Bellevue, Council Position 1
Founder and CEO of Holly Zhang Pearl Gallery in Bellevue, Zhang is an immigrant who overcame poverty and adversity as a young girl in rural China. She attended Edmonds Community College and the University of Washington, and has led numerous charity events which have benefited hospitals statewide. Having had to forage for food in China, Zhang believes in a higher quality of life for women, teenagers, and families.
City of Bellevue, Council Position 5
Zahn is a 25-year resident of Bellevue, and a first-generation immigrant from Hong Kong. She has been leading Construction Management for the Port of Seattle for over a decade, has served four years on the City of Bellevue Transportation Commission (the last year as Chair), and championed for strategic investments in public safety (Police and Fire), infrastructure, and neighborhoods (enhancement projects).
Yu is a system architect with T-Mobile and an immigrant from China. He is an appointed member of the Bellevue Diversity Advisory Network to help the city build inclusive communities. He served as a board member of Somerset Community Association and was a member of the Covenant Review Committee to support community and home improvement planning. Yu also acts as the Chinese community liaison for Overlake Medical Center.
City of Bellevue Council, Position 7
A project manager and quality assurance expert for Fortune 500 companies and companies throughout the region, Ye said she is uniquely prepared to address Bellevue’s challenges. She serves on the Bellevue Diversity Advisory Board, helping city leadership build trust across communities, and as a faculty member for Youthlink University, helping connect Bellevue youth to community projects and promote leadership and innovation.
City of Burien Council, Position 6
Aragon began her career as a registered nurse and is the executive director of the Washington Center For Nursing. She also pursued a law degree to be an advocate in Olympia with the intent to improve health care for all. Aragon currently serves on the board of directors of the WA Low Income Housing Alliance and is a member of the Burien Urban Center Advisory Committee.
City of Kent Council, Position 1
Elizabeth T. Peang
A social worker, community outreach advocate, and housing specialist, Peang earned her Bachelor’s of Arts in Public Administration, at California State University, Stanislaus.
Peang is the parent of three school aged kids and in her view, the lack of affordable housing and the rising crime rate are barriers for the success of the community. Her priority will be to lead the council towards business strategies which provide long-term sustainable funding solutions.
City of Kent Council, Position 3
Hira Singh Bhullar
A senior software engineer for Starbucks, Bhullar has been a Kent resident for over 11 years. He serves as a board member for Kent Youth & Family Services, Kent YMCA, Kent Schools Foundation, Sunrise Rotary Club, and Khalsa Gurmat School. He volunteers with the youth and children on different projects related to empowerment and education. Bhullar is a leader in the Sikh community and supports immigration reform and embracing diversity.
City of Lake Forest Park Council, Position 6
Furutani is a small business owner and calls himself a union activist. He has been a member of the Lake Forest Park Water District Advisory Committee. Furutani has a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington. He is a physics instructor at North Seattle College and has taught science and climate change issues for 25 years.
City of Seattle Council, District 3
Sawant helped lead the way in making Seattle the first major city to pass a $15 minimum wage. She has served for two terms on the Seattle City Council. A member of Socialist Alternative, Sawant was the first socialist to win a citywide election in Seattle since Anna Louise Strong was elected to the School Board (1916), and the first socialist on the City Council since A. W. Piper (1877).
Nguyen is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees. A former tenants’ rights attorney, she currently works as a public defender for King County, with mentally ill people who are held under the state Involuntary Treatment Act. Nguyen is also an active member of SEIU 925 and chair of its King County Department of Public Defense social justice committee.
City of Seattle Council, District 6
Raised in North Seattle by a single mom, Fathi is of Iranian descent and attended Seattle Public Schools, graduating from Roosevelt High School before entering the University of Washington. He is a practicing family physician focusing on low income individuals and families. Fathi became president and CEO of Coordinated Care, leading the Obamacare health plan startup from 34,000 members to a state-wide plan with over 250,000 members in all 39 Washington counties.
City of Seattle Council, District 7
Naveed Jamali is a U.S. Navy intelligence officer, computer programmer, former MSNBC intelligence analyst, and author of the memoir ‘How to Catch a Russian Spy.’
Jamali received a commendation from former FBI Director Robert Mueller for his work with the FBI countering Russian intelligence. As a Navy officer, Naveed was awarded New York State’s Humanitarian Medal for leading rescue and response missions in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
City of Shoreline Council, Position 4
Chen is the general counsel of CRISTA Ministries, an organization serving Shoreline’s seniors and youth through housing and education. He attended Seattle University School of Law, where he worked with youth at the King County Juvenile Detention Center and educated them on how to advocate for their rights. Chen is a former member of the Parks Funding Advisory Committee and several nonprofit boards.
Doris Fujioka McConnell
McConnell was elected to the Shoreline City Council in 2007, 2011, and 2015, and as deputy mayor in 2019. She has served in Shoreline PTA in a variety of capacities, including president, secretary, treasurer, and vice president at both the individual school and district level. McConnell has also served on numerous Shoreline School District advisory boards and is an active Richmond Beach Community Association volunteer.
Mercer Island School District 400, Director Position 5
Lin has a Ph.D. in Biology from Ohio State University. She worked as a senior research scientist at the University of Wisconsin and Howard Hughes Medical Institute before moving to Mercer Island with her family. Lin has served as secretary on the Mercer Island School Foundation Board, tutored students in Chinese, and coached MathCounts teams. She is the founder and a board member of the Mercer Island Chinese Association.
An associate professor and program director at Saint Martin’s University, Dinh got her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is also a licensed independent clinical social worker and has worked with kids struggling with educational, mental health, and addiction problems. Dinh is on the Washington State Commission for Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA)’s Education and Health and Mental Health Committees.
*Names compiled from the King County elections website. If there are any AAPI candidates we missed for the Aug. 6, 2019 primary election, please let us know at