MORE FIL-AMS WIN BIG IN U.S. MIDTERM ELECTIONS; Celebrate historic inroads in New York, Hawaii, California, other states


SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK – More Filipino Americans won in the November 2022 midterm elections in various cities in the United States and the over four million FilAms in the United States are celebrating one of the biggest inroads in the polls.

Apart from the five state senators, including Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, and five state representatives in Hawaii, FilAm candidates made historic wins in California, New York, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maryland, Tennessee, Nevada and Alaska.

Reports monitored by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the Philippine News Today and other Filipino and FilAm groups all over the country showed the successes of the candidates of Filipino descent.

“Our biggest achievement for this year’s November elections is seeing more Filipinos stepping up to run for public office,” NaFFAA president and national chairperson Brendan Flores said in a statement.

Flores added that Filipino Americans and other minority communities will be inspired to “speak up, participate, and listen” because of such representation in public office.

“We are excited to see progress for our community. Filipino Americans offer a unique type of leadership that is founded upon their deep love for their families and communities,” he said.

In its website, NaFFAA said it congratulates the “trailblazers and history makers who won during the recently held US elections.”

“ Your NaFFAA family wishes you all the best as you embark on your journey as servant leaders and transform your communities. We extend our appreciation to these changemakers as they represent our Filipino American community as our voice in advocating for better representation and more positive changes,” the biggest FilAm group added.

“Our NaFFAA Staff is still working on getting the most updated list of Filipino American winners during the recently held US elections. If we miss any other Filipino Americans who won during this year’s elections, please reach out to,” the NaFFAA statement said.

Flores was joined by Mariela Fletcher, Chris Rivera and Aldrin Carreon in congratulating the FilAm election winners.

Lawyer and Philippine News Today columnist Emmanuel Tipon said the winning State Senators of Filipino descent in Hawaii were Lorraine Rodero Inouye, Dist. 1; Joy San Buenaventura, Dist. 2; Donna Mercado Kim, Dist. 14; Brandon Elefante, Dist. 16; and Donovan de la Cruz, Dist. 17.

The winning Filipino State Representatives in Hawaii were Della Au Belatti, Dist. 26; Ernesto Ganaden, Dist. 30; Rose Martinez, Dist. 40; David A. Alcos, Dist. 41; and Diamond Garcia, Dist. 42.

Steven Raga of Queens, New York, won in his bid to become the first Filipino American in the New York State Legislature, according to NaFFAA. Raga defeated Republican challenger Sean Lally with 58 percent of the votes.

Interviewed by GMA News after his victory, Raga vowed to prioritize the safety of the Asian-Americans amid incidents of hate crimes, adding he would do all that he could to protect the Asian-American community in New York as he urged victims to report hate crimes so that data on such incidents would be accurate.

“Everything that we can do to protect Asian-Americans and help people feel safe no matter what background, that is definitely a priority for us. I know a lot of Filipino-Americans have experienced this harassment or physical violence towards them but have not reported it,” Raga said.

“So it is not in the statistics that people can reference because for a number of reasons they are either shy or embarrassed that it happened to them especially if they are here and already living here. They don’t want their family in the Philippines to hear that this happened to them,” he added.

Raga told GMA News that he was proud of the Filipino community in New York, which supported and helped him during the elections.

“I am proud of the Filipino community here. It just shows that the Filipino community wherever we are, we are sleeping giants. All you need is just to wake us up and whatever the alarm is I think that is what right now in New York,” he said.

He also lauded Filipinos for their world-class talent and encouraged them to help and support each other.

“Two words. We Won.  As a kid from Queens who grew up with a single mother, working three jobs while pursuing my education, the overwhelming support from all corners of the district means a lot to me. Thank you, Assembly District 30!” Raga beamed. “I am honored and proud to have your trust and support. I am honored to become the first-ever Filipino American to be elected in New York State history.”

In North Carolina, Maria Cervania is now the first Filipino American member of the North Carolina Legislature representing District 41.

Kris Valderrama, a Maryland House of Delegates member, and Marvin Lim, a state representative in District 98 in Georgia, were  reelected.

NaFFAA reported that Justin Jones also won as a state representative for District 52 in Tennessee.

Luz Bay also took a spot in the New Hampshire House of Representatives to represent Strafford County District 21.

Genevieve Mina will assume office in the Alaska House of Representatives for District 19.

Erica Mosca was elected as a state assembly member for District 14 in Nevada.

In California, lawyer Rob Bonta was reelected as the Attorney General for the US State that is home to thousands of Filipinos. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California since 2011, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, did not seek a new mandate as she opted to retire by January.

Following his victory, Bonta stated that he is so humbled and deeply honored by the vote of confidence on him delivered at the ballot box and cited his accomplishments while in office of the State of California Department of Justice.

“Tonight’s returns reflect our results public safety, for freedom and for working families. But our work isn’t done,” said Bonta. “What is next for our nation remains unknown, but what is known is that no matter what happens in Washington DC…. No matter what radical Republicans try to throw our way in state houses… your Attorney General will go to court, sue, and fight back!”

US Representative Bobby Scott, who won the US House election in Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, remained the highest-ranking Filipino American elected official, according to NaFFAA. He traces his Filipino ancestry in Tarlac.

Kenneth Mejia of Los Angeles was elected as Burbank City’s first Filipino American city controller.

According to NaFFAA, Cameron Sasai became the youngest Filipino American council member in Pinole City, California at 23 years old

Sasai, whose mother hails from Lingayen, Pangasinan and has a Japanese American father from a family of farmworkers, won the race against seven candidates, including two incumbents and three former mayors.

“It will be an honor to serve as one of the very few Filipino-American mayors in the East Bay Area during my 4-year term. My family here in Pinole and Lingayen, Pangasinan as well as in Quezon City in the Philippines are ecstatic about our victory and the unique opportunity to advocate for and represent our Fil-Am community,” Sasai jubilantly stated in a report of Jun Nucum of Philippine News Today.

“My campaign was initially considered to be a long shot candidacy: some discounted my ideas and refused to endorse me. However, with hard work and the support of our community, we drove our campaign to the finish line,” Sasai said.

Activist and accountant Kenneth Mejia, 32 years old, is the first Filipino American and Asian American elected to city wide office in Los Angeles.

In Tennessee, 26-year-old activist Justin Jones was elected state representative of District 52, becoming the youngest lawmaker in their state capitol.

Many Filipino Americans also won local government positions during the November elections, according to NaFFAA.

In the mayoral race in California, Jed Leano of Claremont City, Rod Daus-Magbual of Daly City, and Melissa Ramoso of the City of Artesia won the polls.

For city council positions, Gabriel Quinto, the first LGBTQ council member in El Cerrito, California, was reelected.

In Milpitas City, a second FilAm, lawyer Garry Barbadillo, a native of Bangued, Abra, secured a seat in the City Council, joining Councilmember Evelyn Quevedo Chua, a classmate of Philippine News Today editor in chief Alfred Gabot.

Also in Daly City, City Council member Ray Buenaventura was reelected to the post. Buenaventura confessed that his job on the city council is not done and re-electing him gives him the chance to do more.

“I will continue to make Daly City a better place for everyone.  We have a great community and I will strive to make it even better.  Thank you to everyone that made this victory possible.  Your vote mattered and together we can make a difference in the next four years,” Buenaventura pledged.

Other Filipino Americans who won the city council elections in California are the following:


  • Ollie Cantos of West Covina City
  • Tony Daysog of Alameda County
  • Joanne Del Rosario of the City of Colma
  • Diosdado Matulac of the City of Vallejo
  • Buenaflor Nicolas of City of South San Francisco
  • David Oro of American Canyon,
  • Charles Palmares of the City of Vallejo
  • Phil Bacerra of Santa Ana City
  • Ditas Yamane of National City

Also, Krystle Ang of Burbank City was elected treasurer.

In Hawaii, newcomer Tyler Dos Santos and former member of the State House Val Okimoto won a seat ub the Honolulu City Council.

Several Filipino Americans also won school board elections:

  • Thelma Boac and Jaria Jaug won at Berryessa Union School District Board in San Jose, California
  • Judy Patacsil was elected as a Board Trustee for District 1 of Palomar College in San Diego County
  • Mike Guingona won the election to assume a role at the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees

At the Judicial Level, Filipina American attorney Mari Parade was also elected as a District Family Court Judge in Las Vegas, Nevada.