Austria, 2nd Filam in U.S.Congress
|Posted by Manila Mail under Articles/Stories|
OHIO – Ohio’s Filipino American State Senator Steve Austria has become the second Filipino American to be elected to the US House of Representatives in the Nov. 4 elections. A Republican, he beat his Democratic opponent, Sharen Neuhardt by a lopsided 58.84 to 41.16 percentage of the votes The first Filipino American member of Congress is Robert C. “Bobby” Scott who represents Virginia’s 3rd congressional district.
Ed Navarra, chair of the National Federation of Filipino Associations (NaFFAA), Region 3 announced the election of Austria and congratulated him for his feat.
“NaFFAA Region 3 is proud to announce that Ohio State Senator Steve Austria was elected to the US Congress two days ago with a stunning 59-41 victory !!! He will represent Ohio’s 7th District in the US Congress.
Austria is an Ohio State Senator when he decided to run for election for the US Congress. Austria’s father, Dr Clement Austria, now deceased, was a graduate [ad#featuredpost160x600-wht]of UST College of Medicine and a Philippine veteran of WWII. His mother is Mrs. Jean Brockman Austria.
Navarra said Austria was NaFFAA’s keynote speaker during the regional conference in Dayton in September 2006. Ernie Gange invited him to the Seattle Confab but he decided to stay with his campaign the last minute.
He urged Filipino Americans to send congratulatory messages to Austria: Senate Building Room #132, First Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215 Telephone: 614/466-3780 Email: email@example.com Austria, the oldest of 9 children, was born in Cincinnati and grew up in Xenia.
His father was originally from Tiaong, Quezon and fought the Japanese as a guerrilla in World War II. He migrated to the US where he died in November 1986 at the age of 62. Steven’s mother is Jean Brockman Austria of Cincinnati.
Before his election to the US Congress, Austria was elected as state senator representing Ohio’s 10th Senate District, which includes approximately 375,000 people.
According to his campaign Web site called Steve Austria for US Congress, Austria was twice unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve in the Ohio state’s Senate leadership position of Majority Whip, where he helps decide which bills and what policies are considered.
He is also an active member of several advisory boards, statewide associations, local Chambers of Commerce’s and the Xenia Rotary Club, where he has made meaningful contributions to people of all ages through many youth and senior programs.
In 1984, the Austria family was chosen as the “Ohio Family of the Year” and subsequently was chosen as one of only nine families throughout the country as “The Great American Family” by the Reagan Administration.
Rep. Scott, on the other hand, is a Democrat who represents the Norfolk-Richmond area. He has the distinction of being the first American with Filipino heritage to serve in the US Congress.
Scott’s maternal grandfather is of Filipino ancestry. An online article in Asianjournal.com written by Cynthia de Castro named Valentin Cortez Hamlin as Scott’s grandfather.
Valentin was reported to have stowed away in a ship which was bound for the United States from the Philippines. The ship’s Captain Hamlin, an American, reportedly discovered the young lad and decided to adopt him.
Scott’s maternal grandfather went home with his adoptive father to North Carolina where he grew up and got a good education. Taking the name of the captain, he became known as Valentin Cortez Hamlin, the article said.
Valentin reportedly became a pharmacist and married an African American.
His daughter, Mae Hamlin Scott, is the veteran US congressman’s mother.
Scott’s district covers urban parts of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton and Richmond, and the rural counties of New Kent, Charles City, Prince George and Surry. He ran unopposed in the November 2008