LOS ANGELES — The US mid-term elections are about 10 months away, and candidates including Filipino Americans are throwing their hats into the races.
Duterte is running for US Congress — no, not that one.
Meet Edwin Duterte, a local business man, realtor, and President of several Republican and community groups in Southern California.
He’s believed to be a distant relative of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — and after helping campaign for other aspiring lawmakers, he’s now running for California’s 43rd US congressional district.
“This last year I just saw that our current elected officials in California, there could be a lot of improvement both on a community level and on an international level,” Duterte said. “So I really believe that there are certain, certain things at the federal level can do to help out the communities locally.”
His father, who hails from Pangasinan, moved to Northern California in the 1960’s as part of a professional visa.
While he tries to be the first full-blooded Filipino in Congress, his main platforms include business, education, and technology — a vital role in his area, which is home to companies such as Space X and Snapchat.
“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I think those are the opportunities that we really need to focus on.”
California’s 43rd district, currently represented by Democrat Maxine Waters, includes several large Filipino populations including Carson, Torrance, and Gardena, as well as parts of Silicon Beach.
While he admits his last name may grab some attention, he believes his stand on certain issues will ultimately help him win.
“I really believe if I get the message that we can do really good things in the district,” Duterte said. “I believe my last name will benefit, and not because of what’s going on in the Philippines — I think people will see my last name, understand I’m supportive of the community, and I really want to create an environment to better the community.”
June 2018 will be the US midterm elections, and candidates are beginning to apply.
Duterte, who’s been meeting with local Filipino communities, plans on holding a kick off rally later this month. It’s unsure if the incumbent Maxine Waters will seek reelection.