Candidate for Oregon state representative gets racist note in the mail

Justin Hwang receives racist note on campaign letter - KATU image

PORTLAND, Ore. – In the lead-up to election day, a candidate in Oregon received a letter with a racist note written on the bottom.

Justin Hwang is the Republican candidate for state representative in District 49. He says he has been canvassing for months. When he sees a “no soliciting” sign on someone’s door Hwang says he sends them a letter.

Friday morning, Hwang says someone returned one of those letters to him with a handwritten note on the bottom. It read, “You will never get my vote Chink. Go to your country and run for office.”

The slur is a derogatory term for someone from Asia.

“I’m a Korean immigrant. My English is not perfect. I understand. It is not right, people calling each other with all these racial slurs,” Hwang said.

Hwang owns Joy Teriyaki, which has 22 locations. He says he is running for office to give back to the community and be a good role model for immigrants.

“I'm not mad at the person. Hopefully I can just meet the person who sent me the letter and hopefully I can change their mind,” said Hwang. “We're from many different places, but I want to let him know that we are all one.”

Hwang says he has heard the slur before, but not since high school or middle school.

Representative Chris Gorsek is the Democratic incumbent that Hwang is running against.

Gorsek sent KATU News a statement saying, “I am saddened and appalled that anyone would think to do something like this. It does not reflect my beliefs or those of the volunteers and staff working on my campaign. I have taught against such behavior in my college classes for years and believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and I am sorry that Justin has been exposed to this terrible expression of hate.”

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