Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: July 2009, 2nd full term.

Born: July 7, 1953, Los Angeles, CA

Home: Monterey Park, CA

Education: U.C.L.A., B.A. 1974; M.A. 1977; Ph.D. 1979.

Professional Career: Faculty member, Los Angeles Community College District, 1981-2001; Los Angeles City College, Psychology Dept., 1981-1988; E. Los Angeles College, Psychology Dept., 1988-2001.

Ethnicity: Asian/Pacific American

Religion: No religious affiliation

Family: married (Mike Eng) , 0 children

Democrat Judy Chu won a 2009 special election to succeed Democrat Hilda Solis, who became President Barack Obama’s secretary of Labor. Chu is the second Chinese-American member of the House, after Rep. David Wu, an Oregon Democrat, and the first Chinese-American woman. In 2011, she was elected to chair the Congressional Asian Pacific-American Caucus.

Chu grew up in Los Angeles as the daughter of an electrical technician who brought his wife over from China under the War Brides Act. The family moved to the Bay Area when she was in junior high school. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, got a Ph.D. in psychology, and then taught for 13 years at East Los Angeles Community College. She served on the Garvey School District board for three years and was mayor of Monterey Park for 12 years. In 2000, Chu was elected to the California Assembly, where she focused on criminal justice and environmental protection issues. As the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, she sponsored a tax amnesty program that brought in significant sums for the state. In 2006, she was elected to the state Board of Equalization, where she worked on closing tax loopholes.

After Solis’ Cabinet appointment, the contest for the Democratic nomination quickly settled into a race between Chu and state Sen. Gil Cedillo, the leading Hispanic candidate. Although many observers viewed the election as an ethnic showdown between an Asian and a Latino, the race actually was more nuanced. Chu gained the endorsement of much of the Democratic establishment and the state party, including some prominent Hispanics, such as Los Angeles Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa and members of Solis’ family. The Los Angeles County Labor Federation, which was impressed by Chu’s support for farm workers, supported her, as did EMILY’s List, the national advocacy group for pro-abortion rights Democratic women. A third candidate was also a Hispanic and siphoned support from likely Cedillo voters: political novice Emanuel Pleitez, a 26-year-old financial analyst who had worked on Obama’s presidential campaign. Chu raised nearly $1 million, Cedillo more than $700,000, and Pleitez $200,000. Chu won with 32%, to 23% for Cedillo and 14% for Pleitez.

Because she failed to receive a majority of the total primary vote, she faced a runoff with Republican Betty Chu, a Monterey Park councilwoman who is Chu’s distant cousin by marriage. Little known by most district voters, Betty Chu got 10% of the vote in the primary, edging out Republican-endorsed Teresa Hernandez who got 9%. Hispanic groups lamented the likely loss of a seat in the House. Judy Chu easily bested Betty Chu by nearly 2-to-1, 62% to 33%.

Chu has continued Solis’ strongly liberal voting record. She joined the Out of Afghanistan Caucus and voted against a 2010 spending bill to fund military operations there. After her nephew, a lance corporal in the Marines stationed in Afghanistan, committed suicide in 2011 as a result of being beaten up by his fellow soldiers, she introduced an anti-military hazing bill. It was incorporated into the House-passed fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill. On the Judiciary Committee, she offered an amendment to a medical liability bill in 2011 to end health insurance companies’ exemption from antitrust laws; it ultimately tied 13-13 and was rejected by Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas. She introduced a bill a few months later to limit employers’ use of immigration law to thwart workers’ efforts to protect their labor rights.

As chair of the Asian Pacific-American Caucus, Chu lobbied Asian-Americans to support Obama’s reelection. “No other U.S. president in history has had such a deep understanding of the vibrancy of Asia,” she wrote in an op-ed piece shortly before the election. She sponsored a House-passed resolution in 2012 to have the United States apologize for the anti-immigrant Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, telling colleagues that her grandfather was forced to carry a certificate of U.S. residence for about 40 years. “It is for my grandfather, and for all Chinese Americans who were told for six decades by the U.S. government that the land of the free wasn’t open to them, that we must pass this resolution,” she said.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5464

(202) 225-5467

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2423
Washington, DC 20515-0527

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5464

(202) 225-5467

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2423
Washington, DC 20515-0527

DISTRICT OFFICE

(626) 304-0110

(626) 304-0132

527 South Lake Avenue Suite 106
Pasadena, CA 91101-3586

DISTRICT OFFICE

(626) 304-0110

(626) 304-0132

527 South Lake Avenue Suite 106
Pasadena, CA 91101-3586

DISTRICT OFFICE

(909) 625-5394

(909) 399-0198

415 West Foothill Boulevard Suite 122
Claremont, CA 91711-2782

DISTRICT OFFICE

(909) 625-5394

(909) 399-0198

415 West Foothill Boulevard Suite 122
Claremont, CA 91711-2782

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

6380 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1612
Los Angeles, CA 90048

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

6380 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1612
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Ellen Hamilton
Legislative Correspondent

Arts

Ellen Hamilton
Legislative Correspondent

Budget

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Consumers

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Education

Ellen Hamilton
Legislative Correspondent

Energy

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Environment

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Benjamin Suarato
Press Secretary

Govt Ops

Ellen Hamilton
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Ellen Hamilton
Legislative Correspondent

Intergovernmental

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Internet

Linda Shim
Chief of Staff

linda.shim@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5464

Judiciary

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Labor

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Military

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

National Security

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Tax

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Technology

Linda Shim
Chief of Staff

linda.shim@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5464

Telecommunications

Linda Shim
Chief of Staff

linda.shim@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5464

Trade

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Liliana Rocha
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Sonali Desai
Senior Legislative Assistant

Women

Linda Shim
Chief of Staff

linda.shim@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5464

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Judy Chu
Votes: 154,191
Percent: 63.98%
Jack Orswell
Votes: 86,817
Percent: 36.02%
2012 PRIMARY
Judy Chu
Votes: 50,203
Percent: 57.78%
Jack Orswell
Votes: 20,868
Percent: 24.02%
Bob Duran
Votes: 15,819
Percent: 18.21%
2010 GENERAL
Judy Chu
Votes: 77,759
Percent: 71.04%
Edward Schmerling
Votes: 31,697
Percent: 28.96%
2010 PRIMARY
Judy Chu
Votes: 21,718
Percent: 100.0%
2009 RUNOFF
Judy Chu
Votes: 16,194
Percent: 61.85%
Betty Chu
Votes: 8,630
Percent: 32.96%
Christopher M. Agrella
Votes: 1,356
Percent: 5.18%
2009 SPECIAL
Judy Chu
Votes: 17,661
Percent: 33.0%
Gil Cedillo
Votes: 12,570
Percent: 23.0%
Emanuel Plietez
Votes: 7,252
Percent: 13.0%
Betty Chu
Votes: 5,648
Percent: 10.0%
Theresa Hernandez
Votes: 4,581
Percent: 8.0%
David Truaux
Votes: 3,303
Percent: 6.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (71%), 2009 special (62%)

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