The first Hmong person to win a local elective office in the state is now the first to run for a state position.
Joe Bee Xiong is seeking the 68th Assembly district seat in Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties. Xiong officially announced his candidacy Monday morning.
Xiong will be running as a Democrat, hoping to replace incumbent Larry Balow who decided not to run for a fourth term. The two had worked together when Xiong spend four years on the city council.
Balow, another former city council member, endorsed Xiong. "He's got a good background, he's got four years of political experience, he's a college grad, he's a recognized veteran, he's well qualified for the job," says Balow.
Xiong says his experience of working on a budget for the city will be an asset in Madison. "I've seen that from the city to the state, the only difference is the budget is being bigger so I can use my experience during the time I served on city council," says Xiong.
Xiong says his priorities, if elected, would be education, job creation in the state, and making health care more affordable.
Terry Moulton is running on the republican ticket.