On August 4, at the Marine Park Golf Course in Brooklyn, the Democratic Party of Brooklyn held a nomination meeting for Brooklyn High Court judges. Among the attendees was Xiong Yan, candidate to represent New York’s 10th congressional district and Frank Seddio, a former Kings County Surrogate Court judge.
Seddio is considered a political strongman in the Brooklyn Democratic Party. He served as a state representative in southeastern Brooklyn from 1999 to 2005 and as an acting Brooklyn court judge from 2006 to 2007. Seddio served as the chairman of the Brooklyn Democratic Party from 2012 until 2020 and currently is a district leader for the 59th Assembly District, a volunteer position he has served in since 2010.
Speaking with Vision Times, Seddio provided a glowing endorsement for Xiong Yan.
“I think that he is one of the finest men that are in this race, one of the most genuine … and probably someone whose enthusiasm represents all of the people in that district.” He added that, “He will be fabulous and we only need to remember that when we start voting, looking at all the other candidates, this is the candidate that makes the difference to all of our communities, and he’s a Brooklyn guy, and that’s what matters.”
From ‘freedom fighter’ to ‘freedom defender’
Xiong Yan, a veteran of the Iraq War, and human rights activist was a student leader during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in China, and has drawn the ire of the Chinese Communist Party.
In May, Xiong told the NY Post, “In China, I was a freedom fighter. I joined the Army when I came to America because I wanted to be a freedom defender.”
Xiong studied law at the prestigious Peking University in China from 1986 to 1989. He immigrated to the United States as a political refugee in 1992 and later served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He is running for Congress on Aug. 23 to represent New York’s 10th congressional district.
One of the pair’s first encounters was at a birthday party in November 2020, when Seddio first learned of Xiong’s ambitions. “At the birthday party, they were very happy when they learned that I was running for Congress. Everyone exchanged business cards and took pictures,” Xiong said, as reported by the Epoch Times.
Another prominent New York political figure, Erik Frankel, has openly backed Xiong’s bid for Congress said, “I like his political views …, I think he can represent our community. We don’t need politicians, I hope Xiong Yan can represent us,” The Epoch Times reported.
According to The Epoch Times, Frankel believes that the 10th congressional district needs politicians with traditional ideas, not radicals, asserting that extreme views hurt the community. He wants the right people to be elected who will keep small businesses in mind, “You know, when we vote, we tend to choose not for the people, but for the people against the people …people need to be elected to support small business, not to fight against small business,” Frankel told the Epoch Times.
On June 28, Frankel, running as a conservative candidate, lost to Democrat incumbent Marcela Mitaynes in the Democratic primary for New York State Assembly District 51.
Xiong, a pastor, says he is sympathetic to the weak, and is full of love and justice, who firmly defends human rights and the U.S. Constitution. His personal philosophy favors tradition, safeguarding the interests of small businesses, supporting the police, fighting crime and maintaining law and order.
The 10th congressional district covers two major Chinese communities, Chinatown and Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Xiong hopes that Chinese voters will come out to vote for him and elect a legislator who speaks for the Chinese.