House's Vietnamese caucus: Sign of Oregon's growing diversity
Five Vietnamese Americans will serve in the Oregon House Representatives, when it convenes this coming January.
Rep. Khanh Pham of Portland was elected to a second term in District 45. She will be joined by Hai Pham of Hillsboro, a pediatric dentist, in District 36; Daniel Nguyen of Lake Oswego, a restaurant owner, in District 38; Thuy Tran of Portland, an optometrist, in District 45; and Hoa Nguyen of Portland, an attendance coach for Portland Public Schools, in District 48.
Until Khanh Pham was elected to an open seat in 2020, just four Asian Americans had been in the Oregon Legislature. They were:
• Max Rijken, a Democrat from Newport, who was in the House from 1975 to 1987.
• Hedy Rijken, a Democrat from Newport and Max Rijken's daughter, who was in the House from 1989 to 1995.
• Mae Yih, a Democrat from Albany, who was in the House from 1977 to 1983, and in the Senate from 1983 to 2003. She is the longest serving woman in the Oregon Legislature, one year more than the 25 years (1997-November 2021) that Ginny Burdick of Portland was in the Senate.
• John Lim, a Republican from Gresham, who was in the Senate from 1993 to 2001, and again by appointment in 2004, and in the House from 2005 to 2009. Lim also was the Republican nominee for U.S. senator in 1998, and a Republican candidate for governor in 2010.
* Rob Patridge, a Republican from Medford, who was in the House from 1999 to 2005. (His mother was Japanese.)
Democrats look to keep their majorities in both chambers the Legislature, but not their revenue-raising supermajorities.
NOTE: Adds previous Asian Americans in the Oregon Legislature prior to the 2020 election of Democrat Khanh Pham of Portland.
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