As Asian American leaders in Congress, we were very excited when Jay Chen announced his candidacy for the 39th Congressional District.

As the only Democratic candidate in this race that has ever run or held local office, and as the candidate that has lived in the district the longest, we are confident that Jay Chen is the best fit for this district.   This is why we wholeheartedly endorsed his candidacy, and why Jay has garnered the grassroots support and key endorsements in this race.  Congress is not an entry-level job, and Jay has shown the commitment to service and community that we need in Washington DC.

Winning the 39th District is key to Democratic chances to retake the House and stand up to President Donald Trump.  Trump’s unpopular presidency has led to an unprecedented number of first-time candidates running across the country, including Southern California.  While we are excited about the enthusiasm, we are also aware that with California’s top-two primary system, large numbers of Democratic candidates could split the vote and send two Republicans to the general election.  District 39 faces that dilemma.

Jay Chen’s personal decision not to run, so that the Democratic vote can be consolidated instead of fractured, is a remarkable sacrifice for a greater cause that further speaks to his character.  We applaud his selfless commitment to public service and thank all of his supporters who have backed him thus far.  We believe this is the right decision and we look forward to supporting Jay again in the future.

Congresswoman Judy Chu is the immediate past chair of ASPIRE PAC, which focuses on supporting candidates of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent and those that support and promote the issues of the AAPI community.

Congressman Mark Takano is the Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, which leads efforts in the House of Representatives to advance LGBT equality, and an executive member of ASPIRE PAC.

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