Filipino-Americans win seats in California, New Jersey

/ 12:12 AM November 15, 2016

LOS ANGELES—Several Filipino-Americans have emerged winners in the Nov. 9 US general elections.

Assembly member Rob Bonta, who became the first Filipino to serve in the California legislature, was reelected to his post.


Bonta captured 87 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Roseann Slonsky-Breault. He represents the 18th Assembly district, which includes Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda in Northern California.

Since his first election to the California Assembly in 2012, Bonta has authored bills promoting Fil-Am heritage, including the annual proclamation of Larry Itliong Day honoring the late Filipino farm labor leader.


He also introduced AB 123, which required California public school curriculum to include the contributions of Fil-Ams to the farm labor movement.

Bob Sampayan was elected mayor of Vallejo, California. A retired police officer, he has served as Vallejo City councilmember since 2011.

Three other Fil-Ams emerged victorious in Vallejo. Hermie Sunga and Rozzana Verder Aliga were elected city council members while Ruscal Cayangyang won a seat in the school board.

Juslyn Manalo, a former community service worker who fought for the rights of Fil-Am veterans, became the first Filipina to win a council seat in Daly City, the largest city in San Mateo County, California.

In Bergenfied, New Jersey, businessman and community leader Salvador “Buddy” Deauna won a city council seat. A farmer’s son from Camarines Norte, Deauna is the eldest of 16 children.

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