The new 45th congressional district was created in 2021 and includes the Asian American hubs of Westminster, Cerritos, and Artesia.
According to the consulting firm Political Data Intelligence, a third of the district’s registered voters are Asian American, 16 percent of voters are of Vietnamese descent, 5 percent are Korean American immigrants and the rest Chinese, Filipino, Japanese or Indian roots.
The district has the largest Vietnamese American community in the nation.
One of the top contenders is Steel, 66, a former representative of the 48th district, served on the state Board of Equalization and the Orange County Board of Supervisors before her 2020 election to the House.
Chen, president of the Board of Trustees for Mt. San Antonio Community College and a former school board member, unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2012. The 44-year-old withdrew from a 2018 congressional race because of Democratic fears of splitting the vote.
Neither candidate lives in the district, which is not required for members of Congress.
The Cook Political Report rated the race as a “Republican toss-up,” meaning Steel is slightly favoured to win re-election in November.