Tracey Robertson contributed to this report.
Miayoua Thao easily won Tuesday’s primary election with 60 percent of the vote and will face business consultant John Cuff, who earned 22 percent of the vote. Eric Breiland was third with 18 percent.
Thao is the first Hmong woman to run for City Council in Appleton.
“I have a great campaign team who has helped a lot, plus a lot of volunteers who have put in a lot of effort,” she said in an interview. “I’d like to thank all the constituents for trusting and believing in me. I’m looking forward to representing my district.”
She said she’s ready to get going on the general election campaign.
“From now until April 2 we will work really hard to meet all my constituents. I will schedule myself out every day,” she said. “I would like to meet them face to face before the election. That’s my goal.”
That means knocking on as many as 1,500 doors.
Thao said it’s not so much any particular issue that people are concerned about — other than keeping property taxes in check — but her own commitment to community service that earns her votes.
“(District 7 residents) have been very thankful to me for doing this for the community,” she said. “They have seen me as the first Hmong woman to take the initiative to have the interest to do this. They are very thankful. They are very proud of my credentials and things I have done for the community in the past.”
In 2007, Thao was honored with Governor Doyle’s “Good Citizenship” Award. She is a two-time Martin Luther King night awardee and was nominated for the Jane Cappella Unity award.
A graduate of UW Oshkosh where she earned Master’s degree in professional counseling and an undergraduate degree in Human Services, Thao has made Appleton her residence of choice. “Appleton is where I chose to start my businesses. I want to grow here. I want my children to grow here and live here,” Thao said.
Over the past six years, Thao has started and run three successful businesses: a private-practice counseling center, Tongxeng Personal Homecare, and Long Cheng Marketplace.
Long Chen Marketplace is an open market in a previously-vacant building. The renovated building provides space to other businesses including a full restaurant, a banquet hall, an Asian grocery store, a clothing store, a movie store, and a shoe store.