Could Tim Wu become New York’s first Asian American to hold statewide elected office?

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Columbia law professor Timothy Wu is running to be New York’s lieutenant governor. If he wins, he would be the first Asian American to hold statewide office in the state.

Next week on September 9th, New York voters will go to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary for the state’s gubernatorial races. Governor Andrew Cuomo will be running in his first re-election campaign after his successful 2010 bid for the state’s top spot which saw him running uncontested in the Democratic primary and trouncing Republican Carl Paladino in the general.

While there’s almost no doubt that Cuomo will be returning to the governor’s office this year, this year’s gubernatorial race in New York has still been one to watch: namely in regards to who will be standing alongside Cuomo this November. Cuomo’s running mate is Kathy Hochul, a former U.S. Congressman; before her term in the House, Hochul also served as Erie County Clerk for four years. After being defeated in her 2013 re-election campaign, Hochul joined the private sector working as a lobbyist for New York-based M&T Bank.

Hochul has been a lacklustre candidate for lieutenant governor, and virtually unknown outside of Buffalo political circles. Meanwhile, she’s had to spend most of the summer fighting against her own political past: in 2006, Hochul loudly advocated in favour of turning people suspected of undocumented status to federal authorities. Hochul has also voted several times against Obamacare and against gun control. Today, Hochul says she has reversed her position on undocumented immigration (2006 was a different time and place, she tells to Karen DeWitt of Norty County Public Radio) and now claims to be “1000%” in favour of DREAMers. Yet, these statements remain like an albatross around Hochul’s neck.

Meanwhile, another candidate — Columbia law professor Timothy Wu — has become the sudden rockstar of the New York state lieutenant governor’s race; and, if Wu is able to defeat Hochul next week and all other opponents in the general, he will become the first Asian American to hold statewide office in New York State.

So, who exactly is Tim Wu?

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