Korean-American Candidate Running in GOP Primary for U.S. Senate Seat

Credit Eugene Yu for Senate

The race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Georgia’s primary on the Republican side is getting a bit more crowded.

The first Korean-American candidate has entered the race for the seat currently held by U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. 

Listen to an audio version of this story.

Eugene Chin Yu is a former business owner and most recently served as president of the Federation of Korean Associations.

Yu, new to the political scene, is running alongside long-time politicians. Rich Thompson is his campaign manager.

“He believes the federal government is too large and the taxes are too high, and somebody needs to be there to fight for the interest of Georgians,” Thompson says.

Yu was born in Korea but grew up in Augusta, and served as a fireman and a police deputy.  

“While he is of Korean descent, his job is to represent all of Georgia,” Thompson says. 

However, Yu is the first Korean-American to run for a senate seat in the state.

Helen Ho is the executive director of the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center.

“It’s really just a sign of the growing immigrant  and specifically Asian American immigrant electorate here in Georgia,” Ho says. 

In the last two years, Asian Americans were the fastest growing group in the state.  

Also in the race on the Republican side are U.S. Representatives Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston and former Secretary of State Karen Handel.