Phu Nguyen and His Victory
The election also shows that he is vulnerable in a predominately Republican district. In the Vietnamese-American community, despite all the positive media attention, a very good marketing team to help build his image and an impressive list of supporters from the mainstream, people are not yet receptive to him.
Behind his smiling appearance, he has a reputation of being more than he actually is and quite vindictive with his jealousy of others. And he hates people that do not agree with him. In running against an unknown candidate who had little to no money, Phu actually had to work hard to get the votes. Phu raised over $150,000 and during the last 2 weeks of the election, he was spending money on mailers and ads aggressively to ensure his victory over a nonserious challenger. Of course Joe Dovinh is nothing more than a ploy by Van Tran to decimate Phu's campaign chest and it worked. Phu is having difficulty raising money within his own community as well as in the mainstream. The Democratic Party, similar to the Republican Party, can only provide lip-service to local races with no funding to help their own candidates. But on the other hand, the business of money transaction to Vietnam is a lucrative one so it was no surprise to see Phu put down $100,000 of his own money into the race. He could have loaned himself $200,000 to $300,000 but there is a $100,000 limit on how much can a candidate loan himself or herself in a state assembly race.
It will be an interesting summer to see if he could convince the Vietnamese-American voters to stand behind. He will need every vote from his community, especially with Allan Mansoor relying on Van Tran's political machine to get him the Vietnamese-American votes.