AD-72: Five Candidates (Two Democrats, Three Republicans) Running
Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2012
In AD-72, the withdrawal of Huntington Beach Councilman (and OC Political blogger) Matt Harper has shaken up the field. That leaves millionaire Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar as the Republican front-runner. Orange County Board of Education Member Long Pham will gain most of the substantial Vietnamese Republican vote. Huntington Beach Activist Travis Allen is the third Republican in the race, and judging by the two press releases we at OC Political received this morning (we’ll post those tomorrow), he will be running a Huntington Beach-centric campaign. Huntington Beach is the second largest city in the district, behind only Garden Grove (while Huntington Beach as a whole is bigger than Garden Grove as a whole; most of Garden Grove is in AD-72 while only half of Huntington Beach is in AD-72).
The leading Democrat in the race is Garden Grove Planning Commissioner Joe Dovinh. Dovinh’s wife is Garden Grove City Councilwoman Dina Nguyen. (For the record, I am not related to either Nguyen or Dovinh [or Pham, for that matter]; Nguyen is an exceedingly common last name, encompassing 36% of Vietnamese people.) The other Democrat in the race is 89-year-old Albert Ayala, who is actually a Tea Party Democrat.
To recap, the five candidates on the ballot (along with their parties, cities of residence, and ballot designations) are:
- Troy Edgar (R-Los Alamitos) – Businessman/Mayor
- Long Pham (R-Fountain Valley) – Member, Orange County Board of Education
- Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) – Small Business Owner
- Joe Dovinh (D-Garden Grove) – City Commissioner/Businessperson
- Albert Ayala (D-Garden Grove) – Retired Police Commander
Edgar is a multi-millionaire not averse to spending his own money for a campaign having loaned his previous Congressional campaign $400,000, and some close to Edgar have indicated he is prepared to spend $1 million to win the Assembly seat. Pham is also an affluent candidate, having dropped $100,000 into his Assembly warchest (while most Assembly candidates who loan their campaigns $100,000 are bluffing, Pham is not, as he’s already started spending substantial portions of the $100,000). Allen has informed OC Political that he has $90,000 in pledged support. This is shaping up to be one expensive Republican primary.
Republicans consist of 42% of AD-72’s registered voters while Democrats sit at 31%. 22% of AD-72’s registered voters are No Party Preference while the remaining 5% are registered in third parties.
AD-72 consists of the entirety of Westminster, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Rossmoor, and Midway City, along with northern Huntington Beach (north of Ellis Avenue, Garfield Avenue, and Seapoint Street), most of Garden Grove (west of West Street), and a small portion of Santa Ana (west of the Santa Ana River [south of 1st Street] and west of Harbor Boulevard [north of 1st Street]).