New Asian GOP group rolls out its first endorsements

A new Asian-American GOP group, the Asian Republican Coalition, is rolling out the first endorsements in the group's history.

The organization is backing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: House loosens pesticide rules to fight Zika | A GOP bill that keeps some of ObamaCare | More proof of pending premium hikes Senate votes to block financial adviser rule Reid defends embattled VA secretary MORE (R-Ky.), Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung (R), along with the House campaigns of Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock (R) and former San Diego City Councilor Carl DeMaio (R).

The organization, launched after Republicans' poor showing with Asian-Americans at the polls in the 2012 elections, hopes to gain influence within the GOP and improve Republicans' standing with various ethnic Asian groups within the United States.

"These candidates believe in creating and building upon strong relationships within the comprehensive Asian-American community," said ARC Chairman John Ying in a statement to The Hill. "We are pleased to see that they will constructively engage to push for an agenda based on education, merit, hard work, personal freedom, entrepreneurship and family."

Republicans have focused hard on improving their stance with minority groups. While the Asian-American population is significantly smaller and even more diverse than the Hispanic population, it's also the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country. President Obama won 73 percent of the Asian-American vote in 2012, a performance even stronger than his 71 percent showing among Hispanics.

The endorsement list reflects that the GOP still has a long way to go to recruit and attract both Asian-American candidates and voters. Fung is the only Asia-American on the list, though McConnell's wife is Asian-American and both DeMaio and Comstock hope to represent districts with large Asian-American populations. 

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