Calling himself an "engineer of Taiwan's new constitution" in his legislative campaign ads, David Huang (黃適卓) said that he was led into politics by both his father, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
The elder Huang is a political veteran who has served as minister of interior during Lee's presidency. Despite this background, David Huang says it never previously occurred to him to go into politics and that he expected to remain an academic for the rest of his life.
After having obtaining his doctoral degree in public administration at the University of Southern California in 2001, Huang became an assistant professor at Tamkang University. He also served as a committee member in the Examination Yuan until he decided to run for a legislator's seat.
Former TSU deputy secretary-general Chen Hong-chi (陳鴻基), who failed to win a legislative seat in the southern constituency of Taipei City, where Huang is now campaigning, said the party needed new blood and withdrew his candidacy for this year's elections in Huang's favor, with the approval of Lee.
Although Lee supported Huang's nomination, however, his mother Huang Shu-ying (黃淑英) was opposed him following his father's footsteps at first because she thought life as a lawmaker was too demanding. Eventually Lee persuaded her to change her mind and support her son's campaign.
Changing his career in midstream from academia to politics, Huang admitted that he took some time to learn campaigning techniques, such as how to get along with voters and how to promote himself with campaign rhetoric. He now thinks he has a good grasp of the essentials.
Using "the legacy of responsible democracy" as one of his campaign slogans, Huang's campaign ads feature both Lee and his father and portray Huang as someone ready to pick up the torch for promoting Taiwan-centered national identification to the younger generation. Huang has said he will devote himself to rectifying the country's name and creating a new constitution for Taiwan.
Highlighting his image as a pro-independence advocate, Huang aims to grab a legislative seat in Taipei City's southern constituency, which is one of the most keenly fought over with more than 30 candidates contending for 10 seats.
But he stressed that he cannot ride to an election victory in the coattails of his father or Lee but will have to build his own individual support from the ground up. His platform, he says, will eventually become the mainstream political position in Taiwan.