Twenty-eight year old Adrian Tam has defeated Nicholas Ochs, local Proud Boy leader for their Hawaii chapter, to be the Hawaii State House District 22 representative.
The son of Hong Kong and Taiwan immigrants, Tam was born and raised in Honolulu. After obtaining a History degree from Penn State University, Tam returned to Hawaii to pursue real estate.
Tam entered politics in 2016 working for Speaker Emeritus Calvin Say to work as a legislative assistant. He also worked for Senator Stanley Chang on multiple legislative issues, perhaps most notable banning gay conversion therapy for minors.
A gay man himself, Tam said to NBC Asian America, “It feels really good to know that someone who is openly LGBT can win. There was a time when people like me could not win. I’m glad that I can bring that representation to the capital.”
Ochs’ supporters and Proud Boy associates directed unnecessary hate towards Tam, but Tam kept his head held high and perservered to victory.
Regardless of what he endured during the campaign, Tam said “I wanted our community to come together,” he said. “I wanted to let everyone know that I’m a public servant that will work with everyone. My office door will always be open to them and their families.”
Tam hopes to tackle issues such as Coronavirus recovery, improving resources for the homeless, and strengthening Hawaii’s nontourism economy.