In Illinois, minorities underrepresented in the Legislature

CHICAGO (AP) — An Asian-American woman is running unopposed as a Democrat this November for a state House seat and would be the first Asian-American in the Legislature if elected.

Theresa Mah’s candidacy represents a political breakthrough in Illinois, but it also highlights how whites still hold disproportionally large majorities in state legislatures and Congress.

Asians make up 5 percent of the population in Illinois, but with no representative in the legislature, the state ranks fourth in the country for Asian underrepresentation, according to an analysis of demographic data by The Associated Press.

Whites comprise 62 percent of Illinois’ population, but hold nearly three-fourths of the 177 seats in the Legislature.