Red Brick Daily

Yep, we’re heading into another election cycle and for a few places, the polls will mean big changes. In Kaohsiung, the 12-year rule of Mayor Chen Chu is coming to an end and whoever replaces her will have big shoes to fill.

It’s virtually guaranteed the DPP nominee will win the race in November 2018, but who will that candidate be?

Five DPP lawmakers representing Kaohsiung are contesting the nomination, which will be announced around March next year after independent telephone polls confirm a leader. But recent developments are turning conventional wisdom on its head …. maybe.

Here are the candidates, and a short bio:

  1. Chen Chi-mai, 52. (陳其邁) Chen is seen by some as the front-runner. He served as Kaohsiung’s deputy mayor for a year after Mayor Frank Hsieh was promoted to premier. Pundits have deemed him a ‘safe’ choice, but whether local residents want a known politician or something fresh is the big unknown.


2. Kuan (Guan) Bi-ling, 60. (管碧玲) Kuan has won every election she’s entered since 2005 and pundits had put her down as a favorite. But despite huge billboards across the city and a new book, Kuan apparently is having a hard time picking up traction. 


3. Liu Shyh-fang, 58. (劉世芳) Liu was formerly the deputy secretary-general of the office of ex-president Chen Shui-bian. Liu has good internal party connections and some see her as the preferred choice of Mayor Chen Chu. Despite declaring for the race early, Liu has likewise struggled to stand out from the crowd.


4. Lin Tai-hua, 45. (林岱樺) Lin is regarded by most pundits as simply too unknown and as her support base is mostly found in the former Kaohsiung County, she does not appear to have enough urban support at this point.


5. Chao Tian-lin, 44 (趙天麟) As the youngest candidate, Chao was an underdog from the start, but debate performances and policy statements have helped lift him to the top of several polls, and Chao took top place in a November 26th, 2017 TV debate. (see cover photo)


One of these five people will almost certainly become the next mayor of Kaohsiung … let’s hope they are up to the task.