With a wave of Vietnamese-Americans successfully elected to local and state offices as Republican candidates, the candidacy of Minh Duong for the city council seat in District 7 has brought intrigue to the June primary.
Andy Nguyen, a newcomer to politics defeated a long time incumbent last night for the commissioner race in Tarrant County (The same county where the famous Texas Cowboys call home). He won in a county where there is only 4% Asian. He contributed his upset victory to the voters wanting change.
Minh Duong, an eloquent and successful small businessman who believes in small government and balancing the budget, brings a fresh face to San Jose politics. Instead of the usual Labor Union's candidates and status-quo lawyers with political ambition, he is independent, unafraid and has a small business owner's can-do mentality. With the control of City Hall by Labor Unions, Minh Duong, if he could beat the heavily favorite darling of Labor Unions - Madison Nguyen, will no doubt help bring some real life business experience to help solve budget issues and break the special interest stronghold.
However, Minh Duong has a difficult road ahead. He is clearly an underdog and with a weak Republican Party in the Bay Area, he is on his own to make a name for himself. The lone Repubican in the city council, Pete Constant, is impressed with Minh Duong. However, he is hedging his bet for his 2014 mayoral ambition. He thinks that by supporting Madison Nguyen for now, he will get the Labor Union votes needed for the mayoral race.
The conventional wisdom is that Councilmember Madison Nguyen will win the primary. She has the name recognition and the money to run a race in her favor. Her Vietnamese-American voter base is weak and she will rely on the White and Hispanic to deliver her victory. Unless the voters decide that they prefers politics as usual and their taxpaying dollars continue to be controlled by the powerful Labor Unions, this is a great opportunity to seek change and send a message.