Assemblymember Ron Kim wins Democratic primary, faces Republican challenger in November

Incumbent Assembly Member Ron Kim ( Inset, blue suit), beat his challenger Yi Andy Chen in this week’s Democratic primary election.
Photo courtesy of AM Kim

Assemblymember Ron Kim, who represents the 40th Assembly District in Flushing, won the Democratic primary Tuesday, beating challenger Yi Andy Chen by about 14 points.

Kim, who generated 54% of the vote, will now go on to face Republican challenger Philip Wang in November’s general election in what could be a hotly contested race. The pair will be vying to represent a district that covers the neighborhoods of Flushing, Murray Hill and Linden Hill.

Kim released a statement shortly after his victory in Tuesday’s primary. He noted that he looks forward to continuing his campaign.

“The voters have spoken! Tonight’s victory is a message that our community wants us to continue fighting for the key values we all respect and deserve. They recognize the work we have done to improve public safety and support our first responders, to fight for the middle class, to stand up for older New Yorkers and deliver resources, to ensure our children get the top-quality education,” said Kim.

Voters in the 40th Assembly District have moved away from progressive policies in recent years, turning to the right. For instance, in the 2022 gubernatorial race, Lee Zeldin, a Republican, carried the 40th Assembly District over Gov. Katy Hochul, with 7,819 votes to 7,301 votes. Kim, who is viewed by many as a progressive Democrat, only won his seat in 2022 by 550 votes against Sharon Liao, a Republican.

Kim, who was first elected to the assembly in 2012, became the first Korean-American to be elected to the State Assembly. He won Tuesday’s primary, saying that he would continue to tackle public safety issues in the district and support small businesses in the greater Flushing community. He also noted his commitment to providing educational opportunities for students through funding for local schools.

With the benefit of being an incumbent, Kim managed to win the primary by beating Chen, who ran on a platform to sustain NYCHA housing and create new senior housing for residents. Additionally, Chen pushed to expand Medicaid and enforce hate crime laws. 

Kim’s general election challenger, Wang, is a chiropractor who has served the Flushing and the Northern Queens community for over 23 years.

Wang’s key policy positions include partnering with law enforcement to promote community safety, rethinking cash bail laws, combatting shoplifting and advancing merit-based equity in specialized high school admissions.