GOP Involvement in 1992: Congressional Campaign and Presidential Campaign Staff
Two major campaigns occurred in Dr. Esther Lee’s life in the years of 1991 and 1992. Running for public office was never in Dr. Esther Lee’s mind even though many people had speculated she would do so. Being an educator, Dr. Lee’s lifelong goal was to promote better cross-cultural understanding and harmony among people including in the political arena. More information is presented in two separate sections: Congressional campaign and Presidential campaign.
Dr. Lee’s congressional campaign generated great impacts on her life and many others’ as well. During her tenue at the US Department of Education, Dr. Lee (formerly known as Esther Lee Yao) consulted the White House Political Director, Ron Kaufman regarding her next campaign efforts for President George H. Bush. Yet, Mr. Kaufman believed that President Bush could be reelected without any problem after the Desert Storm victory. However, President Bush required a GOP controlled House to fulfill his agenda. He suggested Dr. Lee run for the congressional seat in her home district. After serious consideration, she accepted the challenge. Although she lost with a small margin to a Caucasian woman during the primary, her impact among the future Asian/Pacific American (APA) leaders was immeasurable. Many of them were inspired by her narrow-margin defeat. They realized that it’s possible to reach victory. Consequently, the political involvement and running for public offices among Houston APAs emerged suddenly in the following years. Since then, more and more Asian Americans have been elected to US Congress and at state level. Materials related to Dr. Lee’s congressional race can be located in a separate file in the Resource Room.
Following Dr. Lee’s unsuccessful congressional race, she was assigned as the National Coordinator for APA Coalition for Bush/Quayle 1992 campaign by the White House. It was a full-time salaried staff position at the Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The complete information regarding APAs participation under Dr. Lee’s leadership from Washington, DC for this campaign are archived in President Bush’ Library in College Station, Texas. A nominal scanned files can be found in the file/section: Involvement of the Bush/Quayle ’92 Campaign.