He hopes to become Hennepin County commissioner, seeking the District 2 seat against well-known Minnesota Sen. Linda Higgins, and a new take on campaign advertisement is giving him quite the buzz.
Blong Yang is getting national attention as a one-of-a-kind candidate as he seeks to represent both north and south Minneapolis, St. Anthony, Golden Valley, Medicine Lake and part of Plymouth, Crystal and New Hope. He says he realizes most voters haven't tuned into the commissioner's race just yet, but a new music video might give them some motivation.
"When we started his campaign, we just wanted a campaign song," he says. "It was as simple as that."
When you're an underdog candidate challenging a political veteran, chances are it'll take more than a few yard signs to get your name to stick. That's why Yang wanted a campaign "original."
The locally-produced video received some national exposure on a Comedy Central blog when writer Dan Poppy gave the song "big props," describing it as "aspirational" and "earnest."
"Definitely the sort of song the Black Eyed Peas would write for the Obama campaign," Poppy wrote.
Before the blog, the video had about 700 views. Afterward, it spiked to about 1,500. While it's not exactly the most viral sensation, but the song is resonating with voters.
Political analyst David Schultz said it's likely that the video will have more of an impact on a younger crowd.
"Almost anything you can do to suddenly get people to pay attention to you and realize you're running is a good thing" he said.
However, that doesn't mean that the buzz will translate into votes. Higgins has broad support from the DFL and several unions. Though she declined an on-camera interview, she told FOX 9 News the video was "great fun to watch."
Yang and Higgins are set to meet at a candidate forum at the Capri Theater on Thursday night. If Yang wins the race, he would make history as the first Hmong American elected to the Hennepin County Board.