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George Nakano served as a California State Assemblyman from 1998 until 2004. During his time in the Assembly, Nakano was chosen to serve as the chairman of the Democratic caucus. In 2006, Nakano sought the State Senate seat of his Assembly predecessor, Debra Bowen, who was running for the Secretary of State. Nakano lost to fellow Assembly colleague Jenny Oropeza by a margin of 53% to 47%. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Nakano served as a Torrance city councilman for 14 years. In 1994, Nakano lost a senate primary to State Senate veteran Ralph Dills. Nakano was born in a poor East Los Angeles neighborhood and spent time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Nakano was honored by NPIEN for his service as the chair of the Asian Pacific Caucus of the California State Assembly.