Keiko Orrall, candidate for State Treasurer, is the first Asian-American woman to seek a constitutional office in Massachusetts.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 2011, Keiko is also the first Asian-American woman elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
As a four-term lawmaker, Representative Orrall is a strong advocate for her district building bipartisan bridges and focusing on policy over politics. She led an effort to stop Massachusetts’ participation in PARCC, a national testing consortium, which allowed Massachusetts to control its own educational policy and standards.
She was instrumental in helping to pass legislation to give small businesses certainty in tax filing deadlines by matching state and federal requirements.
Most recently she worked with a bipartisan group to stop an unnecessary regulation in the medical field that would have cost city and town taxpayers millions of dollars.
Working with senior citizen advocates and legislators across the aisle she helped block a measure that would have shut down one quarter of all nursing homes in the state through overregulation and disregard for the needs of the elder population.
“Keiko is someone who can rise above whatever the differences might be between and among people in the party on one issue or another, and it’s always been one of her strongest characteristics and best traits,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
Keiko grew up in Cincinnati, OH where both of her parents taught in the public education system. As the middle of five children, she learned the art of compromise and from an early age was taught to value education, hard work, patriotism, and integrity.
Her grandparents are immigrants from Japan and her father grew up on a segregated sugar plantation in Hawaii. Two of her uncles earned Purple Hearts in World War II in the 442nd United States Infantry Regiment, a unit of Japanese Americans, noted for valiant service and sacrifice. Her father is a Marine and with the GI Bill became the first in his family go to college.
Keiko attended Smith College in Northampton, MA majoring in education and met her husband of 28 years, Norman, who was studying engineering at UMass-Amherst. She went on to teach public school for several years. They settled in Norman’s hometown of Lakeville, and raised two children, who graduated from state universities in Massachusetts.
Raised in a working-class family, Keiko is running for State Treasurer because she believes voters want someone who relates to them and will bring a common sense, fiscally conservative approach to managing the state’s finances.