Chu Ting-chieh (朱挺介), the son of former Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) -- now a fugitive -- is running for legislative seat in southern Kaohsiung as an independent.
According to Lin Hsiang-nung (林享能), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung chapter head who is coordinating the pan-blue camp's election campaign there, Chu will probably siphon votes from pan-blue candidates because his campaign themes are similar to those of the pan-blue camp. But his campaign may go a long way in healing the Chu family's battered image after his father's fall from grace in the wake of the Kaohsiung vote-buying scandal in July.
"What we observe here is that certain voters don't really care what the last generation has done," Lin told the Taipei Times. Chu's sister, 25-year-old Chu Ting-shan (朱挺珊), won more than 10,000 votes and was elected in the Kaohsiung City by-election to represent her district, Chiencheng, despite criticism of her father's involvement in vote-buying.
In September last year, Chu An-hsiung was sentenced to 22 months in prison for paying NT$500 per vote to support his city council bid.
In March, the brother and sister jointly organized a support group promoting the pan-blue presidential candidate and KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to consolidate the Chu family's support.
Lin said that in a field where 11 candidates are vying for five open legislative seats, all four blue-leaning independent candidates, including Chu, plan to collaborate with the KMT. It is estimated that a candidate has to gain more than 30,000 ballots to be elected in southern Kaohsiung.
Lin said that Chu's potential should not be underestimated because he personally has quite attractive qualities in a potential legislator, in terms of education, financial resources and local connections. Chu, with no political experience, received a PhD in international industry management from Cambridge University, according to Chinese-language media reports, and was once a lecturer at Oxford University. He now serves as the vice general manager for the An Feng Group (安鋒集團) run by his family.
Chu last week refused to respond to queries about his motives for running in the legislative elections and his opinions on issues.