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Phillip Chen (born April 22, 1978) is an American politician and member of the California State Assembly. He is a Republican representing the 55th district, encompassing parts of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties. Prior to being elected to the state assembly, he was a school board trustee for the Walnut Valley Unified School District.[1]

Phillip Chen
Phillip Chen official headshot.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 55th district
Assumed office
December 5, 2016
Preceded byLing Ling Chang
Personal details
Born (1978-04-22) April 22, 1978 (age 41)
El Monte, California
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceDiamond Bar, California[citation needed]

Early lifeEdit

Chen graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim.


In 2002, Chen earned his B.A. in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. In 2005, Chen earned a Master’s in Public Administration degree from USC. In 2014, Chen earned a Doctoral of Educational Psychology from the USC.[2]


Chen is the owner of a property management company.[2]

In 2013, Chen became an Adjunct Faculty Professor at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.[2][3]

From 1999-2001, Chen was a member of U.S. National Wushu Team.[4]

Chen also started the first Wushu Chinese martial art course for credit at California State University Fullerton.[5]

Chen is a former Los Angeles County Reserve Sheriff’s Deputy.[3] Chen was appointed by former Governor Pete Wilson to the Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning, overseeing California’s juvenile justice programs. He was a member of the State Advisory Group, Juvenile Justice Legislative Committee and Juvenile Justice Native American Committee.[6]

Chen was appointed to serve as a Board Member for the California Physical Therapy Board and worked as a health deputy to former Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.[7]

Chen also served as adjunct faculty at California State Fullerton from 2007-2008[3] and at California State University, Los Angeles in 2016.[8]

Political careerEdit

Chen was elected in November 2011 as a school board member to the Walnut Valley Unified School District and re-elected to a second term in 2015.[9]

In 2014, Chen ran for the California state Assembly. He narrowly lost the Republican nomination to Diamond Bar City Councilwoman Ling Ling Chang, who went on to easily win the general election.[10]

Chen was elected to the California state Assembly in November 2016, when Chang ran unsuccessfully for the California state Senate. He was appointed to serve in leadership as Deputy Whip to the Assembly Republican Caucus. His committee membership consists of the Banking and Finance Committee (where he serves as Vice-Chair), Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee, Revenue and Taxation Committee, Rules Committee and the Utilities and Energy Committee.[11]

In 2018, in the wake of California's growing mental health and homeless epidemic, Chen authored Assembly Bill 2156, which would clarify and fine tune the definition of “gravely disabled” to ensure that county investigators evaluate the mental capacity of an individual to provide for their own food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.[12]

2018 California State AssemblyEdit

California's 55th State Assembly district election, 2018
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Phillip Chen (incumbent) 42,664 47.2
Democratic Gregg D. Fritchle 20,441 22.6
Democratic Melissa Fazli 14,016 15.5
Republican James G. Gerbus 9,731 10.8
Republican Scott Lebda 3,571 3.9
Total votes 90,423 100.0
General election
Republican Phillip Chen (incumbent) 87,928 54.9
Democratic Gregg D. Fritchle 72,256 45.1
Total votes 160,184 100.0
Republican hold

2016 California State AssemblyEdit

California's 55th State Assembly district election, 2016
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gregg D. Fritchle 32,439 35.9
Republican Phillip Chen 19,684 21.8
Republican Mike Spence 18,737 20.7
Republican Ray Marquez 10,881 12.0
Republican Steven M. Tye 8,600 9.5
Total votes 90,341 100.0
General election
Republican Phillip Chen 98,960 57.7
Democratic Gregg D. Fritchle 72,471 42.3
Total votes 171,431 100.0
Republican hold

Personal lifeEdit

Chen and his mother are small business owners who own and operate a property management company. Chen's brother, David, is a deputy district attorney with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office.[13]


  1. ^ "Chen for Assembly". The Orange County Register. September 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Assembly Member Phillip Chen's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "LinkedIn Profile".
  4. ^ "2000 Pan Am Games in Brazil".
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Governor Pete Wilson endorses Phillip Chen for State Assembly".
  7. ^ "2015 Bio information for Walnut Valley Unified School District" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Walnut Valley Unified School District post on November 2012 election".
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Rendon Announces Assembly Committee Assignments".
  12. ^ "Bill Text - AB-2156 Mental health services: gravely disabled". Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  13. ^ "State Bar of CA :: David P. Chen".

External linksEdit