First Asian-American elected to Williamsburg City Council

13News Now Niko Clemmons talked to Benny Zhang.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- Benming Zhang was elected to the Williamsburg City Council Tuesday, making him the first Asian-American and second College of William & Mary student to claim a council seat.

"It still hasn't really hit me yet," Zhang says.

According to the William & Mary site, Zhang was one of three people to win four-year appointments on the council, including fellow alumni Paul Freiling and Barbara Ramsey.

Zhang is believed to be the first Asian-American ever elected to the council according to the City of Williamsburg's communications specialist.

Scott Foster was the first William & Mary student, beginning his work with the council in 2010 shortly after his graduation.

Zhang is a senior studying Asian-American studies at the college of William and Mary. He says making history is a huge honor.

"Being able to make history is one thing but I think symbolically and significantly my parents were immigrants in this country, I'm the first Chinese-American technically in my family as well," Zhang says.

Zhang has been involved in Williamsburg politics since his freshman year at William & Mary, when Mayor Clyde Haulman appointed him to the Public Housing Advisory Committee.

He's served with the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Revolutionary Society.

Zhang will be sworn in July 1st. 


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