Alum advances in congressional primary to face fellow Democrat

Maddy Daum

With a national government debating a Republican healthcare proposal and broad tax cuts, Robert Lee Ahn ’94 is seeking to become the newest member of the House of Representatives, representing California’s 34th district.

Ahn, a lawyer, former LA city planning commissioner and Democrat, will face State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez in the special election June 6 following California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s resignation to assume his current position.

Ahn is running as an outsider, acknowledging his past as a Republican and drawing a contrast to Gomez, who has been endorsed by most of the Democratic establishment.

Ahn’s main priorities include fighting the Republican-sponsored American Health Care Act, promoting public safety and improving education opportunities in the 34th district.

“One of the goals is to bring back additional federal resources here into the 34th district, working together with the city and county governments, along with other agencies, to ensure that we can start helping improve the quality of lives of local residents,” Ahn said.

Ahn credits the school for partially helping to inspire him to run.

“I would say that my Harvard-Westlake experience and education has really formed so much of my foundation and really helped shape a lot of my principles and core beliefs, so I’m forever grateful to Harvard-Westlake and the Harvard-Westlake community for making me the person I am today,” Ahn said.

Tony Kim ’91, who has hosted fundraising events for the Ahn campaign said that Ahn’s role as the only Korean-American in the House would provide much needed representation.

“He’s going to be bringing a whole new perspective, something that’s not the normal way of doing politics, really just serving the community,” Kim said.

In his campaign, Ahn has emphasized that he would be making history if elected, becoming the first Korean-American elected to Congress in more than 20 years.

“I think he would be a great candidate because as a Korean-American it would be great to have someone to represent us in his district,” Calvin Koo ’18 said. “Coming from Harvard-Westlake, he also has a strong foundation to make change.”