Portraying himself as a tough negotiator who can help resolve U.S. trade problems with Far East nations, wealthy Calabasas businessman Sang Korman on Tuesday announced his third run for Congress since 1988.
Korman, a South Korea native, said he can assist in bargaining with Japan, Taiwan and South Korea because "I know how they think."
Speaking to reporters at the Calabasas Country Club, where he often golfs, Korman said he will campaign for the Republican nomination in the new 24th Congressional District, which covers the southwestern San Fernando Valley and parts of Ventura County including Thousand Oaks.
Korman, 54, lost GOP primary races against Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) in 1988 and 1990, but captured nearly 32% of the vote two years ago.
This year he is running in a district with no Republican incumbent. Its boundaries were drawn by the state Supreme Court as part of the once-a-decade rejiggering of California's state and federal electoral districts.
Among the other Republicans Korman will face in the June 2 primary are Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) and businessman Jim Salomon.
Korman became the first Korean-American to run for Congress, and his campaigns have garnered attention from Koreans in the United States and abroad.
His announcement speech attracted reporters from four Korean-language television and radio outlets.
Korman has tried to improve his chances this time by hiring veteran Republican campaign strategist Carlos Rodriguez, known for hard-hitting attacks on opponents. Among Rodriguez' other clients this year is former President Ronald Reagan's daughter, Maureen, who is running for Congress in a different district.
The most prominent Democrat in the race is veteran Rep. Anthony Beilenson (D-Los Angeles).