As Expected, Judy Chu Headed to Congress

Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:03am

California Board of Equalization Vice-Chairwoman Judy Chu (D) was elected to replace former Rep. Hilda Solis (D) in a low-turnout affair Tuesday. She is the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress. Chu cruised to victory over Monterey Park City Councilwoman Betty Tom Chu (R), 62 percent to 33 percent (the two Chus are cousins by marriage, according to the Los Angeles Times). Christopher Agrella, the Libertarian candidate, took 5 percent of the vote.Judy Chu, an accomplished officeholder who has served in the state Assembly, as mayor of Monterey Park and on the local school board, is expected to take office in a matter of days. The 32nd Congressional district seat, east of Los Angeles, has been vacant since Solis was sworn in as secretary of Labor in late February. Solis was first elected in 2000.According to campaign finance reports released this week, Judy Chu spent almost $1.2 million on the race through June 24 — most of it to win a special open primary in May over state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D) and several other candidates. Chu loaned her campaign $50,000.Judy Chu’s latest campaign finance report showed that she paid almost $86,000 to a California law firm that specializes in election law and provides accounting services.Jennifer Yachnin contributed to this report.