Phu Nguyen, a new young face, has announced his candidacy for the 68th Assembly District to replace the term out of Van Tran.
Phu Nguyen is the vice president of Saigon Central Post, Inc. (SCPI), a remittance company serving the Vietnamese American Community. This is transfer money service from US to Vietnam. Phu is also the CEO of My Vietnam Inc., a company that provides cargo and telecommunications services to Vietnam.
Phu is married to Yen Khanh, a math professor at Santa Ana College. They have an active two-year-old named Christopher and are expecting another child in the spring of 2010.
His list of endorsement reads the who's who of the OC Democratic Party. The conventional wisdom is that he will win the Democratic primary and face the Republican candidate, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor, for the general election in November.
The community's reaction so far is wait and see but there is a lot of buzz within certain segments of Vietnamese-American Democrats. He is coming from a strong Catholic background and certainly can get the Vietnamese-American Catholic voters excited, especially now that a lot of old parish priests are being replaced with young and main stream Vietnamese-American priests as head of their respective diosces.
However, his business tie with Vietnam can be an issue with the extreme right wingers in the community. The question is can he put together a coalition of traditional democratic voting bloc to vote for him. He will likely get the majority of the Vietnamese-American votes come the general election.
This will be an interesting race no matter what if Phu Nguyen can win the primary. Allan Mansoor has his work cut out for him.