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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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California State SenateCandidate for District 29

Photo of Joseph Cho

Joseph Cho

Journalist/Nonprofit Chairperson
39,643 votes (19.1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Fully fund our public schools
  • Push towards the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources
  • Affordable healthcare for all



Profession:Teacher / Journalist / Entrepreneur / non-profit f
Councilmember, City of Cerritos — Elected position (2007–2015)
Mayor, City of Cerritos — Appointed position (2010–2011)


I came to America with my wife in 1974, fleeing the dictatorship that was ruling South Korea at the time.  I started out as a janitor and a gas station attendant, but eventually found a job with the Los Angeles Department of Data Processing where I was promoted from computer operator to assistant manager within three years (a record career advancement at the time). Sensing that my career with the Department hit a glass ceiling, I resigned and started my own business, a realty office.

The business was highly successful, but then in 1980 the dictatorship in South Korea committed a massacre in the town of Gwangju in which thousands of activists were killed. In response, I sold my business and started a publication to report from the US about the atrocities of the South Korean dictatorship that the South Korean media was unable to report. My efforts came to fruition in 1987 when Democracy was established in South Korea.


I then started a new business, which was also successful. After retirement, I went back to school to obtain a PhD. degree, ran and won a seat on a city council, and founded a non-profit foundation.

A more complete biography can be downloaded from

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $365,560

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Joseph Cho

More information about contributions

By State:

California 100.00%

By Size:

Large contributions (100.00%)
Small contributions (0.00%)

By Type:

From organizations (0.00%)
From individuals (100.00%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I belive government's role is to provide necessary services such as education / roads / hospitals / police / fire / etc. and help those who are in need to get climb out of the hole.

Position Papers

Statement submitted for distribution in sample ballot.


Statement submitted for distribution in sample ballot.

I am running for the State Senate because I believe Sacramento can do better.


While serving as a mayor and a council-member during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, I had to balance the budget under the challenge of the state raiding the city’s funds to solve the state’s budget shortfalls. I fought against the state's raids of the city's funds, and I helped balance the city's budget without raising taxes, layoffs, nor cuts in services. We streamlined operations and cut back on non-urgent expense.


Given this experience, I am the candidate who is in the best position to reform the state’s financial structure without cutting essential services such as education, fire protection, law enforcement, and medical services. I will also never approve the raiding of local government funds.


I am not beholden to any special interest and will only represent the interests of the people of the 29th District. The special interests have already decided to support other candidates because they know that talking to me would be a waste of their time.


 The values that guide me; education, entrepreneurship, leadership, justice, and equality; are the principles that I will bring to Sacramento. I believe in:  Fully funding our public schools, ‚ Affordable healthcare for all, ƒrepairing our aging infrastructures, and „ stimulating innovation to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  


I would be honored to earn your vote. Please vote for Joseph Cho for the State Senate District 29.

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