Irvine Councilmember Tammy Kim announced a mayoral run on Thursday morning.

Kim said she will run for the city’s mayor role in 2024, “to protect our reputation as a global city focused on innovation, opportunity, equity and sustainability.”

The city has been in the spotlight recently after Melahat Rafiei, a political consultant, recently told FBI investigators that she tried to bribe former Irvine city officials – none of the current councilmembers were serving at the time. Kim referenced the “serious divisions in our city” because of the investigation in her announcement. If elected, she said she hopes to “implement meaningful reforms to ensure transparency and accountability.”

Some of the other platforms she is running on included enhanced public safety, economic development and climate change, she said. She also said she will ensure the city’s investments will “translate into a good quality of life” for residents.

If successful, Kim would be the first Korean American woman to be elected mayor of a “Top 100” city in the United States.

Kim, who has served on the council since 2020, received early endorsements from Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman Andy Kim, Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator Davin Min and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, according to her announcement. Current Councilmember Kathleen Treseder also endorsed Kim.

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan is currently serving her second term. In Irvine, councilmembers and the mayor serve a maximum of two terms.

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