Ling Ling Chang (R) is running for re-election to represent California’s 29th Senate District, which is in Chino Hills. Her opponent, Josh Newman (D), was recalled from the seat in 2018 and is trying to win it back.

What You Need To Know

  • Ling Ling Chang (R) is running for re-election in California’s 29th Senate District, which is in Chino Hills

  • Chang is running against Josh Newman, a Democrat who was recalled from the seat in 2018 after voting in favor of a gas tax

  • Chang considers herself to be a “fiscal conservative” and said she agrees with Trump’s tax reforms

  • Chang would like to update California’s antiquated technology systems that have become an even more glaring problem during the pandemic

Chang said she fell into politics “completely by accident.”

“When I was younger, I was absolutely against politics. I felt that all politicians are slimy and sleazy, and I ended up being very fortunate to meet some really good people, especially my work in the non-profit sector and so, you know, people were encouraging me to run for office, and I was young, I was in my late 20s. And I thought, why don’t I just start getting involved in my own community that I grew up in, that I’m still living in.”

Chang started her political career on the Diamond Bar Community Foundation and then was appointed onto the Diamond Bar Parks and Recreation Commission.

“Then people were encouraging me to run for a local water district, the board of a local water district, because there was some mismanagement-of-funds issue there, so I ran against a 21-year incumbent there, won with 58.8 percent of the vote, and because I love doing my homework, they made me president of the board the very next year. I served a full term there, and then I ran for Diamond Bar City Council for an open seat, and I served as a councilmember and mayor in the city of Diamond Bar,” Chang said. “I also got involved regionally, and I was elected President of the League of California Cities, L.A. County Division, when I was serving on the Diamond Bar City Council. And then there was an open seat in the state assembly, and so I ran for that, and then here I am now.”

Chang calls her rise in politics “strange,” but she credits her work ethic for getting her this far.

“It’s funny because I’m kind of innately shy, but I’ve always believed that you should step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow. But I just love the work,” Chang said. “And every step of the way I’ve always just tested myself to say, ‘Are you accomplishing something tangible? Are you solving problems?’ Because if you’re not, there’s no point in being there.”

Chang has been frustrated with California’s outdated technology system since before she was elected into office. Now, it’s her mission to update it.

“I was actually appointed onto the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Checks as a gubernatorial appointment, and when I was on that board, they were looking at a program called Breeze, and it was to replace the antiquated computer programs that they have to improve enforcement measures and it should be a fairly simple program,” Chang said. “But in the course of five years, they still couldn’t get it done. So when I got into the assembly, I was one of the ones who called for an oversight hearing on the Breeze program, and as it turns out, no one could give us answers, and I think this is also similar to our technological issues with the DMV and EDD. You just don’t have the right personnel in place, and not only that, our procurement process at the state is very convoluted and complicated.” 

When Chang represented the 55th Assembly District, she did an oversight hearing of the California Department of Technology. She said the Chief Financial Officer “couldn’t even answer any questions regarding how they were spending their money.”

“I feel like we have Silicon Valley here. We should be able to solve this very, very quickly. And it’s an embarrassment frankly for the state of California,” Chang said.

Chang’s opponent Josh Newman launched an ad campaign that claims Chang is "just like Trump." Chang said the opposite: “We are very, very different.”

“I am an immigrant actually from Taiwan. I came here when I was three, and I think that speaks a lot in itself and you know, I know racism is an issue and I’ve experienced it time and time again. And just if you look at my name and how ethnic it is, you can just imagine, especially running for office, all the different comments I get,” Chang said. “But it’s sad that he has to go that route, I’ll be completely honest, because my record speaks for itself.”

Chang calls herself a fiscal conservative. She agrees with Trump’s tax reforms, but not the gas tax.

“At one point, Trump even proposed the gas tax, which I didn’t agree with him on and you know, unfortunately my opponent voted for that, which ended up being one of the primary reasons why he was recalled, and so there are a lot of differences. I think that if you do go through my record, I would like to say that I’m a pragmatic Republican,” Chang said.

Chang’s adversaries claim that she has “done absolutely nothing for COVID.” Again, Chang tells a different story.

“When COVID hit, my office and I sprung immediately into action. I started calling up seniors personally to check in on them to see if there’s anything they need. I’ve actually personally driven out because there were some seniors who couldn’t drive in the rain, their car was broken down, and I delivered toilet paper, bleach, paper towels,” Chang said. “And I also voted for a billion dollars in COVID response funding and so I thought, ‘Wow, it’s such a far stretch to say I’m just like him because I did nothing for COVID.’ It’s such a shocker to me to hear that.”

Chang said she also organized and distributed 55,000 masks and more than 60,000 pounds of food to her community.

“We were just trying to figure out how we can provide relief to the community because folks are reaching out constantly to say 'if there’s anything we can do to help', and my office has been there trying to help them every step of the way, even in terms of figuring out what we can do, while following the science on reopening the economy,” Chang said.

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