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Honda Campaign Rolls Out Endorsements From Asian American Stars

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 21 2013

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) rolled out several additional endorsements from Asian American leaders and celebrities Tuesday, with one of them vouching for his high-tech bona fides.

The endorsements came from former White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu, President Obama's half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, actors George Takei and Kal Penn (the White House' former liaison to young Americans and Asian American and Pacific Islanders,) and Yul Kwon, a 'Survivor' winner, People magazine's 2006 'Sexiest Man Alive,' and the Federal Communications Commission's former consumer & governmental affairs bureau chief.

“Congressman Mike Honda has provided a shining example of leadership in Congress, effectively representing Silicon Valley and serving a national leader in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community," Kwon said in a press statement. "Mike has personally inspired the direction of my own career. His vision and legislative efforts have been on the cutting edge -- promoting a 21st-century education for all students, fighting for high quality jobs for the future, and incentivizing the creation of game-changing technology right here in America.”

Honda has been a champion of nanotechnology over his career in Congress. As his campaign points out, a 2003 measure he co-sponsored that authorized $3.7 billion in nanotechnology research and development became law that year.

For his part, Penn authored an OpEd on Honda's candidacy in "India Abroad," outlining his support for Honda's positions on everything from education for minorities to comprehensive immigration reform. Honda's Democratic challenger Ro Khanna has been generating some buzz recently in Indian expatriate media.

The endorsements might register on the radars of district's voters since virtually half of California's District 17 are Asian, according to the Census Bureau. More than a third of the district's Asian inhabitants are voting age.

Khanna held a fundraiser last week in San Francisco with his own list of celebrity endorsers. One of them, Sean Parker, was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network, a film about the founding of Facebook.