Marvin Lim makes history as first Filipino state representative in Georgia

This was the scene all over Georgia Tuesday during the state’s primary election — endless lines and for many, hours-long wait.

The blame game began even before voting polls closed in the Peach State.

“It really goes back to the failure of the management of the county election directors in those counties. That has nothing to do with what we’re doing in the rest of Georgia,” said Brad Raffensperger, Georgia secretary of state.

But the voter rights group led by former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said it was the state’s fault by failing to provide training.

By the end of election day, the state hadn’t declared the winners of its competitive races – including which democratic senate candidate would get a chance to unseat Republican Senator David Perdue in November.

But there was one great news that happened.

Fil-Am civil rights lawyer Marvin Lim won the Democratic primary for House District 99. Since there is no Republican opponent in November — he automatically won the seat.

“To my mom, she described it as kind of like the second time you pass the bar. Because in the Philippines, it’s a huge deal to pass the bar, even arguably bigger than it is in America,” said Marvin Lim, Georgia state representative. “They were very nervous for me when I passed the bar in 2013. They were very nervous last night.”

Lim became the first Filipino state representative in Georgia.

“To be entrusted as a representative for people like myself at the state level in a state like Georgia, which is in the south; it’s not the most friendly towards immigrants, it’s not the most friendly towards minorities… it means a lot to me.”

Lim said his campaign worked hard in increasing voter turnout, which they saw doubled on Tuesday.

“I’ve got to motivate people who already know that their vote might not count. I’m very real about that.”

His district of over 55,000 is mostly composed of minority residents. 50 percent, he said, are foreign-born like him.

Lim came to the U.S. from Binangonan Rizal when he was 8 years old.

He says knows full well his constituents’ needs and struggles.

“People are disaffected, dissatisfied, disillusioned, and angry with the government’s response… including this state’s government response to COVID-19, and they’re angry about anti-Asian American sentiments and racism towards our community, and they’re angry towards the racism in general, towards certainly black people. There’s a huge black turnout in this district yesterday and the pervasive discrimination, particularly in this county, our county cooperates with ICE, towards the Latinx and Latino population. So there’s already that anger. But I’d like to think and I hope that that combined particularly with this campaign, the resource that we provide them, the positive message that we provided them, that there were people looking out for their immediate interest.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also won the Georgia primary.

But for the other yet undeclared contests, candidates might have to do some more waiting. State officials launched investigations into voting issues.

One Comment

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  • Marilyn Doromal
    15 June 2020 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Go go Marvin Lim!
    We are behind you 100% kabayan
    Marilyn Doromal
    Southern Region – Georgia
    Thanks,as always Balitang America!