Fanny Fang

Fanny Fang, 24, Manhattan, is running for the Riley County Commission's District 2 seat.

A Manhattanite who recently criticized a Riley County commissioner for comments about the coronavirus and Chinese people is competing for his seat.

Fanny Fang, 24, a partner with the Asian Market international grocery store, has filed a declaration of intent to run for the county commission’s District 2 seat as a Democrat.

Fang, a vocal advocate for local business and social justice, is one of a group of community members spearheading a campaign calling for chairman Marvin Rodriguez’s resignation after he made public comments saying he did not think the county was at high risk for the coronavirus because it did not have as high a population of Chinese residents as other areas of the world.

Fang said she is running because she wants residents to know they will have someone who will represent them.

"This county has the diversity, the talent and most importantly, the work ethic to not only survive but thrive in this new COVID world we live in," she said in a written statement. "Our current county commission, however, has invested more time, energy and taxpayer dollars in their own personal agendas than investing in the necessary infrastructure for our community to build a legacy they can be proud of. I have the proven leadership, transparency and vision required to ensure that the needs of this county are met in a fiscally- responsible manner."

Fang, representing her family’s store, serves on the Manhattan Area Recovery Task Force, which provides guidance to area officials on how to reopen the local economy. Through the Asian Market and fundraising, Fang recently helped donate more than 4,500 face masks to community organizations.

She graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s in sports management in 2017 and up until last year was pursuing a master’s in counseling and student development at K-State before postponing her studies.

Fang is the lone Democrat to file thus far. She would face the winner of a Republican primary that includes Rodriguez, Phillip Mattox and Greg McKinley. The filing deadline for candidates is June 1.