AD25: Chu will not run for re-election to assembly seat that includes Fremont

Kansen Chu, the South Bay and Fremont assemblymember best known for his bids to abolish daylight-savings time in the state has seen the light yet again.

Saying he can accomplish more at the local level than in Sacramento, Chu will relinquish his assembly seat next year and, instead, run in the growing Santa Clara County supervisorial race to replace Dan Cortese.

San Jose Spotlight first reported Thursday the surprising announcement by Chu, who was first elected in 2014 to the San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas 25th Assembly District seat that also includes portions of Fremont south of Highway 238 and Interstate 680, and Newark.

“I will encourage anybody to put their name in for this Assembly seat. It’s a privilege to be able to serve the people of California,” Chu, 67, told the website.

One of the defining attributes of the 25th District is its Asian American majority. One of the possible names that could be interested in replacing Chu is Fremont Mayor Lily Mei, who is known as an excellent campaigner and who is well-known among Asian Americans in and around Fremont. But, Mei currently lives just one street outside of the district. She would have to move to run for the 25th District seat. Mei is also not registered with a political party.

In fact, Mei’s name was already raised as a possible successor to Chu prior to Thursday. The speculation, however, was predicated on Chu serving out the entirety of his assembly term that if re-elected every two years, would have ended in 2024.

Another Fremont name has also been linked previously as a possible successor to Chu and one that already lives in the 25th District is Fremont Councilmember Yang Shao, a social conservative who narrowly won his seat in the newly drawn 4th District. Shao reportedly talked up his interest in Chu’s seat in the future while campaigning for the Fremont City Council.

Since Chu’s election to the assembly in 2014 to replace the termed out Bob Wieckowski, he has only faced token competition in the years since. Prior to the assembly, he served on the San Jose City Council and the Berryessa Union School Board.

*Changes including Mei living in the 20th District and the inclusion of Shao were made after this article was posted Thursday afternoon.

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