WITH four months until Election Day, six Filipino Americans are among those helping President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign court the fast-growing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) electorate.
The recently announced “Asian Pacific Americans for Trump,” includes a 26-member advisory board of AAPI elected officials, grassroots leaders and business owners.
Asian Americans are now the fastest-growing demographic of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups, comprising 4.7% of the electorate this 2020, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.
Pinoy advisory members include Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is one of the co-chairs; former Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo; Vellie Dietrich-Hall, an entrepreneur from Virginia; Brunswick, Ohio Mayor and attorney Ron Falconi; Herman Martir, a pastor from Fort Worth, Texas; and Shirlene Ostrov, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and chair of the Hawaii Republican Party.
“I am thrilled to be working again with officials from the Trump campaign and the RNC to be a conservative voice in Asian American communities so that we can re-elect the president,” Falconi, who also participated in the president’s 2016 campaign, told the Asian Journal.
On the website for the group, the description reads: “Asian Pacific Americans stand with President Trump to defend freedom, strengthen the American Dream and create a prosperous future with abundant opportunities for generations to come. Asian Pacific Americans cherish the United States as our precious homeland and we will ensure President Trump’s victory in November so our communities and families can continue to thrive under ‘Promises Made, Promises Kept’ for FOUR MORE YEARS!”
This past January, Calvo and Martir were sworn into the president’s Advisory Commission on AAPIs, which “works to broaden access by AAPI employers and communities to economic resources and opportunities.” Calvo — who was the governor of Guam from 2011 to 2019 — also served as a Trump surrogate during the APIAVote Presidential Town Hall on Saturday, June 27.
Reyes, who is Filipino on his father’s side, is also seeking reelection for his position and has received an endorsement from Trump himself.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (@SeanReyesUT) is a fighter and hard worker for the Great State of Utah. He is a big supporter of our #MAGA Agenda – Strong on Crime, the Second Amendment, and Loves our Law Enforcement….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 23, 2020
“Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (@SeanReyesUT) is a fighter and hard worker for the Great State of Utah. He is a big supporter of our #MAGA Agenda – Strong on Crime, the Second Amendment, and Loves our Law Enforcement,” Trump tweeted in April.
In a 2018 Asian American Voter Survey released by APIAVote and AAPI Data, 48% of Filipinos surveyed said they had a “favorable” view of the Republican Party, while 50% said they had a “favorable” view of Democratic Party.
“Our group only has a short period of time before November comes around, and we should focus on our goals. We need to fight back against the mainstream media/Democrat message that all APAs are liberals and vote to the left. Our community is not monolithic, we have a wide variety of views and political opinions,” Falconi added. “Highlighting conservative Asian Pacific American leaders across the country who support Donald Trump will help to go against this stereotype. We also need to rally and convince APAs within all of our communities to vote for the GOP this fall because they represent our beliefs and our values.”
The same survey found that 48% of Filipinos said they approve of the way Trump was handling his job as president, while another 48% said they disapproved.