Sunday, July 5, 2009
According to the tipster at the OC GOP Flag Day Dinner a little more than a couple weeks ago, State Assemblyman Van Tran approached Quang X. Pham and told Quang that he had no business of running for Congress. Tran emphasized strongly that this is not his seat and he would not win. It was quite a heated conversation and caught some guests by surprise.
This would be the third time in less than a month that Tran had personally approached the ex-Marine pilot trying to dissuade him from running.
And now it is official, Quang X. Pham will be running against Van Tran in the Republican primary next June and whoever wins will face Congresswoman Sanchez in Nov. 2010.
Both were born in 1964 one month apart. One nurtured a political ambition ever since he was in college while the other was just following his father foostep to be a soldier. And now their paths collide for better or for worse.
The news was swift and well publicized in the Vietnamese-American media. The majority of the people in the community welcome a fresh political face who has instant credibility as an ex- marine major, an author and a successful entrepeneur.
In the last 3 years, the community has been forced fed by the barrage of personal politics by Van Tran. The sentiment of the community is curently quite clear - the voters are very uncomfortable with the divisive politics. Tran's political machine is still intact but the "Trannie" and their supporters finally realize that they could not bully the community at will as they had in the past.
Tran has everything to lose in the 2010 election. If he lost to Quang X. Pham, his political career is very much done in OC. If he lost to Sanchez by a large margin, his political career is certainly would also be over.
Tran so far has demonstrated the fact that he cannot raise money within his own community and the stake is very high for him at the moment.
Pham on the other hand has an uphill battle to climb. He is truly a political outsider and not a professional politician like Tran. Without any experience in running a campaign he will have to catch up with Tran in every which way. Nevertheless his base in the Vietnamese-American community is very strong, especially with the Vietnamese-American veterans for his dad (also a pilot) was a war hero who spent twelve years in communist prison. In addition, Janet Nguyen's supporters would love the chance to get back at Tran for his bruising attacks on her in the last two elections. Many people in the community questioned Tran's leadership when he waged his political war against Nguyen in her re-election bid last year. To them, it shows Tran's determination to destroy his political enemy at the cost of the community's unity and interest.
It is too early to predict but if the Vietnamese-American community has a high turn out in the primary, Tran will be in for a tough fight against Pham.
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