Evan Low Is on a Political High

Campbell selects youngest Asian-American and openly-gay mayor in country

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009  |  Updated 9:01 AM PDT
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Evan Low

At 26, Evan Low is expected to become mayor of Campbell, making him the country's youngest, openly-gay Asian-American elected to public office.

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Tuesday night was one for the history books in Campbell.

The City Council selected Evan Low as their new mayor, making him the city's youngest openly-gay mayor and youngest Asian American mayor in the country.

Low, 26, was first elected to the Campbell City Council in 2006 and was filling the seat as the city's vice mayor up until about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. He earned his BA in political science from San Jose State University and graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

He has accumulated quite a few honors in his so-far short political career. He's been called a trailblazer and named one of the most influencial Asian Americans Under 30. He even has a day set aside just for him. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom declared June 5, 2006 "Evan Low Day" because of his leadership in the community and Bay Area.

The biggest hurdle he faced in running for office was not his ethnicity or his sexual preference, but his youth, he told Passport Online.

Low replaced Mayor Jane Kennedy, whose term expired in November.

With a good, solid and honest start in politics, it seems Low would be setting his sights on higher office. But, he's not  making it clear.

When Passport Online asked him what his future holds he told them he's not ready to commit to a lifetime in politics. In the next 10 years, he sees himself, "continuing to help those disenfranchised, by empowering them through civic engagement, cultural identity, and education."

Community organizing. Sure sounds like a familiar and successful path to higher political office. We'll be looking for more "firsts" in the future from this Bay Area natural born leader.

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