Fresno City Council Member Blong Xiong on Tuesday filed papers with the Fresno County Clerk’s Office to open his campaign committee and officially launch his 2014 campaign for the Fresno County District 1 supervisorial seat.
District 1 incumbent Phil Larson isn’t running for re-election.
Xiong, 43, will be termed out of his District 1 council seat in January 2015.
Xiong was born in Laos in November 1969. After the country fell to the Communists, he and his family left their homeland and eventually made their way to America.
“I know from first-hand experience that America is the country where, if you have the determination to do something, anything is possible,” Xiong said in a written statement. “As someone who came to this country with very little, I know what it means to work hard and sacrifice in order to make ends meet. I am living proof of the importance of education in helping people succeed.”
Xiong said his priorities as supervisor would be jobs, farms and public safety. He said he would work hard at “supporting San Joaquin Valley agriculture and touting the crucial role we play in feeding California and the world.”
Xiong earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Marian College in Wisconsin and a masters in business administration from National University. He has been an investigator with the Fresno County public defender’s office and served as deputy director for the non-profit Fresno Center for New Americans.
Xiong was appointed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the board of the California Volunteer Commission. He has served on the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, the Southeast Asian Educational Council and the Rail Consolidation Committee.
Xiong lives in Fresno with his wife, Maila Yang, and their dog, Maximus.