FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 20, 2017
Contact: Samantha Vang
St. Paul, MN – St. Paul progressive organizer and community leader, Jay Xiong, has declared his candidacy for Minnesota State Representative in House District 67B. The seat is held by longtime State Representative Sheldon Johnson who recently announced his retirement.
“Jay Xiong is an experienced nonprofit leader, campaign organizer and legislative staffer. He understands the legislative process and the need for strong progressive leadership. As a seasoned community advocate and successful grassroots political organizer, he knows the value of direct community engagement in the democratic process and will work hard to represent East Siders and all the residents of St. Paul,” said Rep. Johnson who has represented the District 67B for 18 years. “He has the heart and the smarts to do this job. I am proud to be his campaign co-chair and will be even more proud to see him as our next state representative,” continued Rep. Johnson.
Xiong, who lives in the Battle Creek neighborhood with his parents and three younger siblings, was born and raised in St. Paul and attended St. Paul public schools. After high school, he graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He co-founded two organizations aimed at engaging youth and the immigrant communities through voter education, voter engagement, voter registration and election protection campaigns. He ran several successful campaigns for local and state candidates, and served as a legislative staffer for the Minnesota House of Representatives. Xiong will continue to champion policies Rep. Johnson has led for many years in the legislature. He will fight hard to ensure that resident safety and security, education equity, accessible economic opportunities, and social and racial justice continue to be cornerstones for a thriving East Side and a more prosperous Minnesota.
“As a Hmong American kid growing up in St. Paul, it was awesome witnessing Senator Mee Moua’s historic election to the Minnesota State Senate. As a friend and mentor, she has inspired and supported me to pursue a life in public service. Today, I am so honored to have the support of my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and heroes as I embark on this journey to continue this commitment to serve and I will work hard to be worthy of the honor to represent the people of our House District 67B,” said Xiong.
“I have worked with Jay as an advisor to my campaign and I have also sought his ideas and input on city issues affecting the East Side community. He has demonstrated the kind of energetic and thoughtful leadership we need at the legislature,” said St. Paul City Council Member Jane Prince, who is also the co-chair for Xiong’s campaign.
Minnesota State Representative Ilhan Omar, who was the first Somali-American Muslim legislator elected to state office in the United States said, “Congratulations to my friend Jay, for his decision to run for a seat in the Minnesota State House of Representatives. More than ever before, we need strong progressive voices like his at the legislature to fight for our community. I know Jay will help ensure everyone gets a fair shake.”
Xiong is proudly endorsed by State Representative Sheldon Johnson (67B), St. Paul City Council Member Jane Prince (Ward 7), St. Paul City Council Member Dai Thao (Ward 1), Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough (D6), State Representative Ilhan Omar (60B), former State Senator Mee Moua, State Representative Fue Lee (59A), State Representative John Lesch (66B), State Representative Rena Moran(65A), newly elected St. Paul School Board Member Marny Xiong, Roy Magnuson, Terri Thao , Abdi Nour Barkat, Pa Chua Vang, Sarah Catherine Walker, Paul Sawyer, Tong C Thao, Mohamed Hadi, Chonburi Lee, Mustafa Jumale, Daniel Yaj, Tiphanie Ph Copeland, Dr. Neal Thao and a growing list of supporters which will be available online in the near future.