An All-American Race in Oregon

House Opponents Wu and Ameri Share Immigrant Experience

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One of the most competitive contests in the U.S. House of Representatives this year is also one of the most ethnically diverse. Voters in Oregon's first congressional district are predominately white, but this November, citizens in the Portland suburbs will send an immigrant to Capitol Hill.

Republican Goli Ameri is challenging Democratic incumbent David Wu. Ameri's family fled Iran during the Islamic revolution. Wu, the only Chinese-American member of Congress, was born in Taiwan.

"It's huge! I mean, you are a refugee from a country and you come here and you live the American dream. Then you ask people to vote for you. It's very emotional," Ameri tells Colin Fogarty from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

While Ameri's patriotism and political skills have won her strong support from the state's Republicans, Democrats hope that her close alignment with President Bush's policies will cost her swing votes in November.

Campaigning on issues such as roads, schools, and jobs, Rep. Wu is proud to be part of a race with such diverse heritage, but he prefers to concentrate on the issues. "It is a positive thing that there is a broadening of the face of representation in America. But the temptation is to sometimes focus too much on that. My opponent and I share an immigrant background. But it's all in the lessons that we learn from that."



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