Conservative lawmaker blazes a trail for Asian-Americans in the GOP
When Kimberly Yee ran for a full term in the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010, political consultants had a few suggestions on how to address her Chinese heritage. One said she should use her husband’s last name —Mar —which somehow seemed less Asian, even though he is also of Chinese descent. Another suggested she drop her last name altogether from campaign signs, which would simply read: “KIMBERLY.” Yee was taken aback. “I said, ‘I’ll find out on election day whether Arizonans are ready for their first Asian-American woman in the legislature,” she said in an interview with Roll Call. The campaign signs had her full name. It turns out Arizonans were ready, and the self-described “family values, fiscal conservative” Republican from Phoenix has since made her mark on a host of issues, including abortion and education, while also digging into the underbelly of state government. In her time in office, she’s butted heads with the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, on appointees that she felt were unqualified.
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