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McCarthy’s congressional replacement brings Asian representation to a deep-red California district

Over the past year, Roy Sekine volunteered and helped organize fundraisers to ensure that Vince Fong became the first Asian American congressman to represent his hometown of Bakersfield in California’s 20th District, which covers the state’s deeply conservative farm belt.

Sekine, who’s Japanese American and a retired technology services supervisor, said he believes Fong embodies the changing values and politics of an Asian electorate that’s increasingly concerned with rising crime rates and costs of living and has become disillusioned with the state’s ruling party.

“Most Asians in Congress are Democrats. They always talk about Trump but they never talk about crime,” Sekine, 64, said. “I hate Asian elderly being targeted. I want an orderly society.”

Fong, a former California State Assembly member, was sworn in earlier this month to succeed former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, securing Republicans a crucial six-seat majority in the House of Representatives. Endorsed by McCarthy and former president Donald Trump, Fong ran on a staunchly conservative platform of reining in fiscal spending, lowering taxes and bolstering law enforcement to fight crime.

Fong, 44, says progressives have “moved in a direction that’s antithetical” to principles that are important to Asian Americans.

California’s 20th Congressional District, which encompasses a cluster of inland farming hubs from Fresno to Fong’s hometown of Bakersfield, is one of the reddest districts in the state. McCarthy has represented districts in the region from 2007 until last December, when he resigned after being deposed as House speaker. Fong, who worked as McCarthy’s district director for more than a decade, won a special election in May to complete the remainder of

Read more on nbcnews.com