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The campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that it was appointing Jason Tengco to serve as its new Asian-American Pacific Islander outreach director.
Tengco, who served as deputy director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, replaces Lisa Changadveja, who left the role last week to take on a position with the Democratic Party in Colorado. Changadveja became Clinton’s AAPI outreach director in August.
“Jason is passionate about engaging AAPIs in the political process, building a pipeline for youth empowerment, and ensuring that the AAPI community's diverse issues are heard and addressed,” a statement provided by the campaign to NBC News reads.
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Tengco, whose parents are from the Philippines, served as the initiative's liaison in the White House Office of Public Engagement and managed the first-ever White House Summit on AAPIs. He has also worked for the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and was an Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies fellow for U.S. Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA).
News of Tengco’s appointment comes a little more than two months after Clinton's campaign announced the formation of an AAPI leadership council, comprised of more than 150 elected officials and community leaders who will help Clinton organize support for her campaign in AAPI communities ahead of caucuses and primaries.
Members of the council include Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), and Congressman Gregorio Sablan from the Northern Mariana Islands.
Both Democrats and Republicans have made great efforts in this year's presidential race to court AAPI voters, an electorate that by 2040 is expected to double, rising to 12.2 million, according to a 2015 report from the UCLA Center for the Study of Inequality and Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
AAPI voters could play a key role in upcoming primaries and caucuses in states with sizeable AAPI communities, including Washington, New York and California. Asian Americans make up 5.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to the U.S. Census.
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign shakeup is a clear indication of her failing effort to win the hearts and minds of Asian American and Pacific Islander voters across the country," Ninio Fetalvo, the Republican National Committee's Asian-American and Pacific Islander press secretary said in a statement to NBC News. "The only consistency with Clinton’s AAPI outreach campaign is that she has and always will take our communities for granted.”