Iwen Chu elected first Asian woman state Senator in New York, will represent first Asian-majority state Senate district


A new face is headed to Albany to represent southern Brooklyn in the state Senate.

More than a week after the midterm elections, Iwen Chu — the Democratic Party and Working Families Party candidate who started making waves last April by collecting signatures from more than 5,400 prospective constituents — has finally declared victory in the nail-bitingly close race, defeating Republican challenger Vito LaBella by just a few hundred votes, according to unofficial New York City Board of Elections results. 

iwen chu southern brooklyn race
Democrat Iwen Chu (center) declared victory in state Senate District 17 on Wednesday night after a close race against Republican Vito LaBella. Photo by Caroline Ourso

“We won!” Chu wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night, after days of waiting on results. “I promise every day to fight for a better New York — safer, cleaner, and more affordable for our families, and to be a voice for all our communities. I am here to serve all in SD17 as we are a community, first and foremost.”