Richard Nguyen vs. Al Hoang for Houston City Council
An upcoming election this November that are being watched closely by the Vietnamese-American communities is the Houston city council race in District F. The district is currently represented by Councilmember Hung Hoang or Al Hoang (English).
Just as a background about Houston. It is the largest city in Texas with 2.2 million people and is divided into 11 districts. Each district is represented by a city council. The city also has 5 at-large council members and a mayor. District F includes the Alief community where a large population of Vietnamese-Americans resides.
Al Hoang was elected in 2009 and has a three-term limit of 2 years each. The Vietnamese-American voters voted for him based on his strong anti-communist rhetoric.
After taking office, he immediately wrapped himself in controversy with his open overture to the communist government in Vietnam. He went to Vietnam on "special economic development visits" and met with high officials including the president of Vietnam. His close relationship with various officials at the Vietnam Consulate in Houston is viewed with disdain by the anti-communist groups in Houston. He is also in a legal fight with various factions of the community about his handling of the community's fund designated for Vietnamese-American community center.
To his supporters, Al Hoang visiting Vietnam or dealing with Vietnamese officials are part of his duty on a special economic development committee for Houston. These activies have nothing to do with his view against the communist government in Vietnam.
Nevertheless, the extreme anti-communist folks in Houston decided that they have enough of Al Hoang and recruited a political novice, Richard Nguyen, to run against Hoang. Al Hoang was running unopposed until a couple month ago.
District F has a population of 185,000 people composed of 42% Hispanic, 23% Black, 15% White and 16% Asian. Vietnamese-American population in Houston is about 38,000 people and roughly half live in District F.
Historically, in the last two elections (2009 and 2011), there were less than 5,000 people voted.
So what are Richard Nguyen chances? The Viet voters high turn out alone would be closed to 5,000 people.
Richard Nguyen is a controversial person himself and the people supporting him are not well like by the community. He once campaigned for another city council candidate, Nguyen thai Hoc, who actually lost the race to Al Hoang in 2009.
Whether they will vote for Richard Nguyen as a protest vote against Al Hoang, we will have to wait and see.