A lot of spin on the fund raising successes and failures of the two candidates. Ultimately, the key number is cash on hand to spend. Right now cash on hand for Quang Pham, the ex-marine pilot, a successful author and businessman is $246,777. For Van Tran, an incumbent assemblyman, his cash on hand is $314,798.
The difference is only $68,021. Last quarter, Van Tran spent $67,444 while Quang Pham spent only $26,000.
A look at Van Tran's supporter list showed that he has more Vietnamese Americans from San Jose donated money to him than his own base in Orange County.
For somebody who is considered to be the "Godfather" of Vietnamese-American politics in Orange County, his hometown and base, Van Tran's situation is puzzling. And this is a race that County Supervisor Chairwoman Janet Nguyen has not even showed her hand who she is supporting.
What is the sentiment within the Vietnamese-American community in OC? Van Tran will need to have a strong fund raising event in Little Saigon. This is something he has been hesitated to do since he does not want to have a no show.
There are about 18,000 Vietnamese-American registered voters in the contested district. Chances are there will be 9,000 to 10,000 Vietnamese-American voters going to the poll. Right now Van Tran cannot seem to capture their attention yet, despite having all the big name media like Nguoi Viet, Viet Bao, Viet Star, etc... behind him. And of course, Van Tran and his group have their own radio show to blast their propaganda everyday.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Michael Tran, a real estate investor from southern California, who is currently residing in the Evergreen area, publicly declared his intention since October of last year. He is backed by Vietnamese American Community of Northern California. VACNORCAL is the same group that is suing Madison Nguyen and the city for Brown Act violation. A summary judgement is expected in February. James Chadwick, one of the best lawyers in the Bay Area, is the lead lawyer for VACNORCAL.
Phu Le, a long time community activist, a close friend and advisor of Councilman Kansen Chu, had filed his statement last week. A resident of Milpitas and a county health commissioner, he is well known for his supports of many politicians. He is a serious challenger to Madison Nguyen according to a recent article by the Mercury News - http://www.mercurynews.com/internal-affairs/ci_14296808
Bryan Do, another community activist and one time a city council candidate for District 4, has many political ambitions. According to Bryan, he is the chief strategist and unofficial advisor for Vietnamese-American Voters of Northern California Foundation. This organization is formed by the Recall Team after their defeat by Madison Nguyen.
The fourth candidate is Minh Duong, another well known community activist, a small business development commissioner and a one time District 8 city council candidate. He is well liked in the community and is considered by the community to be less controversial than the other four candidates.
The convention wisdom is that not all four of the challengers will actually be running. The two challengers who are likely to drop out are Bryan Do and Michael Tran because they both know that they have no chance of winning. On the other hand, they all could stay in and may the best man wins. Bryan Do can play a spoiler for he has nothing to lose.
No matter who is running, the real favorite in the election of course is Madison Nguyen. It is almost impossible to defeat a Teflon incumbent.
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