Claremont will soon be represented by Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, who on Tuesday won the race for California’s newly drawn 27th Congressional District. Chu’s election marks the end of a long period of Republican representation of Claremont.
Chu won the election with 63.4 percent of the vote to Republican Jack Orswell’s 37 percent. Chu was previously a congresswoman for the 32nd District and will be serving her third term in Congress.
“After representing the San Gabriel Valley for over 26 years, the people here have come to know me,” Chu wrote in a e-mail to TSL. “This was the tenth time they have entrusted me with public office, and I am committed to serving them to the best of my ability.”
Chu, who began her career as a professor at the Los Angeles City College and East Los Angeles College, has also served as Monterey Park Mayor and California State Assemblywoman.
She said her focus for her next term is to help strengthen the economy by focusing on entrepreneurship and small businesses in America.
“We must end the tax breaks for companies shipping our jobs overseas,” Chu wrote. “I plan to help small businesses by continuing my community small-business workshops and making it easier to start a successful business.”
Locally, Chu hopes to extend the coverage of the Metro Gold line, a light rail that currently stops in Pasadena.
“One of my top priorities in Congress is the extension of the Metro Gold Line,” Chu wrote. “I am fighting for funding to extend the line even further to Claremont and eventually all the way to the Ontario Airport.”
Chu also wrote that she hopes to make an impact on higher education.
“As a 20-year college professor, I am deeply committed to making sure college is affordable to students from every background,” she wrote. “I was proud to support the largest increase of Pell Grants in our nation’s history and fought for keeping the interest rates for student loans low earlier this year.”
Before California redistricted in 2011, Claremont was part of the 26th Congressional District, represented by Republican David Dreier CM ’75. The area included the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles and the western suburbs of San Bernardino.
The new 27th District covers much of the same area as the old 26th, but extends westward only to Pasadena and excludes La Canada. It also includes the Altadena and Lamanda Park areas.
Many students at the Claremont Colleges did not vote for the 27th District because they are registered to vote in their hometowns.
Maddi Cowen PO ’16, who voted for representatives in her hometown of Miami, Fla., said that she felt disconnected from the neighborhoods included in the 27th District.
“There are a few students who are from Claremont, but for the most part, I have very little interaction with the people who did vote for the representative,” Cowen said.