Nguyen (R) Defeats Nguyen (D) in Clash of Vietnamese-American Candidates in OC

Janet Nguyen (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

Republican Janet Nguyen has officially defeated Democrat Diedre Nguyen in a state legislative race in Orange County, the latest sign of a modest Republican comeback in California in the 2020 election.

The Orange County Register reported on the unusual contest for an open seat between two Vietnamese-American contenders with the same last name:

Republican Janet Nguyen has defeated Democrat Diedre Nguyen in the race to represent the 72nd Assembly District, keeping the open seat under GOP control.

“I’m extremely humbled and honored that the voters of the 72nd Assembly District have trusted me to be their voice in Sacramento,” Janet Nguyen said Thursday, Nov. 12. “Now that the campaign is behind us, I am ready to get to work immediately on behalf of the residents of our district.”

Diedre Nguyen conceded Wednesday night, when updated election results showed Janet Nguyen to be up by more votes than there were ballots left to tally. At the time, Janet Nguyen led by 17,995 votes with 15,438 ballots left to count countywide.

Janet Nguyen, 43, of Fountain Valley, has been the first woman and Vietnamese American to hold several local and state seats. She started on the Garden Grove City Council in 2004, won a county Supervisor seat in 2007 and became a State Senator in 2014. In 2017, she was named legislator of the year by the Vietnam Veterans of America, but a year later was narrowly voted out of her SD-34 seat. She’s now a board member on the Orange County Foundation.

NBC News noted that while the Vietnamese-American community has traditionally been Republican, it has become more political diverse in recent years.

Republicans appear to have flipped several congressional seats in the Golden State, and several left-wing referendums were defeated by California voters, despite the fact that Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden had a wide lead in the state over incumbent President Donald Trump.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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