|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 48th district
January 3, 2021
|Co-Chair of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders|
January 17, 2019 - January 3, 2021
Serving with Paul Hsu
|Chair of the|
Orange County Board of Supervisors
January 1, 2020 - January 3, 2021
|Member of the|
Orange County Board of Supervisors
from the 2nd district
January 5, 2015 - January 3, 2021
|Member of the|
California State Board of Equalization
from the 3rd district
January 5, 2007 - January 5, 2015
Michelle Eunjoo Park
June 21, 1955
Seoul, South Korea
|Residence||Seal Beach, California, U.S.|
|Education||Pepperdine University (BA)|
University of Southern California (MBA)
|Revised Romanization||Bak Eunju|
Michelle Eunjoo Steel (née Park; born June 21, 1955) is a South Korean-born American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 48th congressional district. She concurrently serves as a member of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise's Whip Team for the 117th Congress.
She was a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors from 2015 to 2021 and is a former member of the California State Board of Equalization (2007-2015). Steel, along with fellow California Republican Young Kim and Democrat Marilyn Strickland of Washington, are the first Korean-American women to serve in Congress. Steel and Kim, along with David Valadao, also became the first Republican congressional candidates since 1994 to unseat incumbent House Democrats in California.
Steel was born in Seoul, South Korea. Her father was born in Shanghai to Korean expatriate parents. Steel was educated in South Korea, Japan, and the United States. She holds a degree in business from Pepperdine University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. She is fluent in Korean and Japanese.
Steel was elected to the California State Board of Equalization in 2006 when Republican incumbent Claude Parrish ran unsuccessfully for state Treasurer. Throughout her tenure, she served as the country's highest ranking Korean American officeholder and California's highest ranking Republican woman. She represented more than eight million people in the 3rd district, which then included the entirety of Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties, and portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. In 2011, she was elected vice chair of the Board of Equalization.
In March 2018, Steel was the only elected official to greet President Donald Trump when he landed at LAX on his first official visit to California as president. In 2019, she was appointed by Trump to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
She served as the Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2017 and again in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she opposed mandatory face masks in Orange County. She voted against requiring face coverings for retail employees, and opposed requirements of masks in public schools. She questioned the medical efficacy of masks in preventing the virus spread.
On September 15, 2020, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved plans that could lead to increased private jet traffic at John Wayne Airport. Steel was criticized[by whom?] for taking campaign contributions from ACI Jet, a corporation vying for a contract to maintain private jets at this airport, and was ultimately awarded the contract.[clarification needed]
In 2020, Steel ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 48th congressional district. Steel received 34.9% of the vote to advance from the primary and defeated incumbent Democrat Harley Rouda in the November 3, 2020, election. Steel raised $200,000 more than Rouda.
During her campaign, Steel spoke out against COVID-19 mask mandates. Her platform included opposition to abortion, same sex marriage, and the creation of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. A conservative, she aligned herself with President Donald Trump.
Due to her COVID-19 quarantine, Steel missed voting on the certification of Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Steel voted against the second impeachment of Donald Trump on January 13, 2021.
On February 25, 2021, Steel voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to explicitly include new protections.
In 1981, Steel married Shawn Steel, who would later be California Republican Party chairman from 2001 to 2003 and Republican National Committeeman from California since 2008. They have two daughters, and live in Seal Beach, California. Steel is a Christian.
At a 2014 Tea Party event in Newport Beach, Steel said she had withdrawn her younger daughter from the University of California, Santa Cruz and sent her to Loyola Marymount University for a one-year "brainwash" after her daughter voiced support for same-sex marriage and Barack Obama.
|Democratic||Harley Rouda (incumbent)||193,362||48.9|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Nonpartisan||Michelle Steel (incumbent)||80,854||63.4|
|Nonpartisan||Allan Mansoor (incumbent)||37.5|
|Republican||Michelle Steel (incumbent)||1,325,538||54.9|
|Democratic||Mary Christian Heising||836,057||34.6|
|Libertarian||Jerry L. Dixon||117,783||4.8|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary Lou Finley||79,870||3.3|
|Peace and Freedom||Mary Finley||91,467||4.54|
Media related to Michelle Steel at Wikimedia Commons
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 48th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States representatives by seniority