San Jose Mercury broke the news recently that Tam Truong, 30, is planning to run against the incumbent Kansen Chu for D4 council seat with Mayor Chuck Reed's blessing.
This is a district where Vietnamese-Americans make up about 25% of the registered voters. It is a surprise to many people in Little Saigon since Tam Truong is unknown in the community. Nevertheless, it is good news for Little Saigon to see new young faces who are interested in political office. These candidates, whether they win or lose, are the upcoming leaders of the community. So it is nice to see them taking on the political challenge and make a name for themselves.
The first sighting of Tam Truong at a Vietnamese community function was in early October 2011. It was an event for Vietnamese veterans held at Dynasty restaurant. He was accompanying Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and was introduced as a SJPD detective. Some people in the crowd thought he was there as her police escort.
Last time Kansen Chu ran against a Chuck Reed's candidate, it was in 2008. Hon Lien was also an unknown in the community with little political experience. But with the mayor's support and Vic Aljouny helped managed the campaign, she ran a surprisingly competitive race against Chu. However, Chu was not the incumbent in 2008 and his Vietnamese-American base was not as strong. The white votes will make up about 30% of the total votes. They are the minority majority that will play a crucial role in either re-electing or replacing Chu. Reed and Nguyen ability to wield influence with the white voters will be the key to defeat Chu.