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Garden Grove Recount Ends After 1 Day: Nguyen In, Broadwater Out, Vacancy on School Board

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 25, 2014

Yesterday, the recount in the Garden Grove Mayor’s race began and ended. After recounting 2,679 ballots in 10 precincts (of which 2,515, or 93.9%, cast a vote for Mayor), not a single ballot changed, so the original count remains:

CITY OF GARDEN GROVE Mayor
Completed Precincts: 87 of 87
Vote Count Percentage
BAO NGUYEN 11,785 42.4%
* BRUCE ALLAN BROADWATER 11,770 42.4%
ALBERT AYALA 4,234 15.2%

* Indicates Incumbent Candidate

After counting approximately 1/10 of the vote and getting no changes, Mayor Bruce Broadwater, who initiated the recall, threw in the towel.

Consequently, Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee Bao Nguyen (D) unseated Mayor Broadwater (D) by 15 votes.

For those of you interested in the counts in each precinct:

Precinct Ballots
Recounted
Candidate Name Original
Tally
Hand
Tally
14041 314 Albert Ayala 29 29
14041 314 Bao Nguyen 161 161
14041 314 Bruce Allan Broadwater 111 111
14047 344 Albert Ayala 27 27
14047 344 Bao Nguyen 187 187
14047 344 Bruce Allan Broadwater 115 115
14061 180 Albert Ayala 16 16
14061 180 Bao Nguyen 83 83
14061 180 Bruce Allan Broadwater 72 72
14063 100 Albert Ayala 16 16
14063 100 Bao Nguyen 43 43
14063 100 Bruce Allan Broadwater 36 36
14249 265 Albert Ayala 16 16
14249 265 Bao Nguyen 130 130
14249 265 Bruce Allan Broadwater 101 101
14250 265 Albert Ayala 26 26
14250 265 Bao Nguyen 125 125
14250 265 Bruce Allan Broadwater 97 97
14257 160 Albert Ayala 21 21
14257 160 Bao Nguyen 67 67
14257 160 Bruce Allan Broadwater 57 57
14275 452 Albert Ayala 14 14
14275 452 Bao Nguyen 267 267
14275 452 Bruce Allan Broadwater 133 133
14317 270 Albert Ayala 16 16
14317 270 Bao Nguyen 145 145
14317 270 Bruce Allan Broadwater 94 94
14323 329 Albert Ayala 22 22
14323 329 Bao Nguyen 192 192
14323 329 Bruce Allan Broadwater 96 96

A long-term fixture in Garden Grove politics who served as either Mayor or Councilmember for 20 of the last 22 years, Broadwater had been Mayor for six nonconsecutive terms (1994-2004, 2012-2014) and served three terms on the City Council (1992-1994, 2006-2012).  A union organizer by profession, Nguyen was appointed to the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees in 2011 and elected to a full term in 2012.

Broadwater’s final Council meeting will be tonight.  Nguyen’s first Council meeting will be December 9.  The Garden Grove Unified School District has 60 days to appoint a new Trustee to complete Nguyen’s term, which expires in 2016.  Should they not appoint in 60 days, they will trigger a special election.

It is not legally possible to consolidate a Garden Grove Unified School District special election with the First Supervisorial District special election to replace Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) who was elected to the Senate.  The Education Code specifies that a special election to fill a school board seat must be at least 130 days after the Board calls the special election.  The County Charter specifies that a special election to fill a Supervisor’s seat must be no later than 70 days after the vacancy occurs.  The Election Code specifies elections must always occur on a Tuesday.

For the sake of argument, had Bao Nguyen resigned on Election Day, and the school district called the special election as fast as possible after that, the earliest legal date for a Garden Grove Unified School District special election would be Tuesday, March 17, 2015.  If (as expected), Janet Nguyen remains a Supervisor until she is sworn in as a Senator on December 1, the latest legal date for a First Supervisorial District special election would be Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

Considering Bao Nguyen was originally appointed to the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees, it seems likely that the school board would appoint again rather than go to special election.  The scenarios that would cause a special election would be if the school board failed to appoint (i.e. no individual candidate could obtain three votes from the Board) or if 1.5% of voters petition to invalidate the appointment (i.e. the scenario that caused the bizarre Irvine Unified School District special election that resulted in Ira Glasky (R) becoming quite possibly the first person ever to be sworn in to the same office three times in a twelve-month period: at his appointment in late December 2013, after his special election in June 2014, and again in early December 2014 after the November 2014 general election).

Will former Garden Grove Unified School District Trustee Trung Nguyen (R) seek the appointment?  Three of the four trustees served with Nguyen on the Board while the fourth was elected to fill his vacancy in 2008.

  • Readers may recall that in the 2007 special election for First District Supervisor to replace Lou Correa (D) who was elected to the Senate, Trung Nguyen led Janet Nguyen in the initial count by seven votes.  After the recount, the lead flipped, and Janet Nguyen led Trung Nguyen by seven votes.  Then after going to court, the lead shrunk, and Janet Nguyen was elected Supervisor over Trung Nguyen by three votes.
  • Trung Nguyen then made an ill-fated bid for Garden Grove City Council in 2008, losing by nearly 3,000 votes (or 3.7%) to Andrew Do (R), Janet Nguyen’s Chief of Staff.  Trung Nguyen gave up his school board seat, as it expired in the same 2008 election.
  • Then, in this month’s elections, Trung Nguyen made an ill-fated bid to unseat incumbent Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Larry Labrado (D), losing by more than 2,400 votes (or a whopping 25.7%).

With Nguyen expressing interest in returning to an education seat after a six year absence, will his old colleagues reappoint him, or will they seek new blood?

Cue Nguyen disclaimer: Senator-Elect Janet Nguyen, Mayor-Elect Bao Nguyen, and former Trustee Trung Nguyen are not related to each other, and none of them are related to me.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.

2 Responses to “Garden Grove Recount Ends After 1 Day: Nguyen In, Broadwater Out, Vacancy on School Board”

  1. […] counts than the very competent Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley.  Indeed, the OC Registrar recount in the Garden Grove Mayor’s race was cancelled after one day because not a single ballot changed. (Dean Logan’s role in the […]

  2. […] his 15-vote re-election loss to then-School Board Member Bao Nguyen (D-Garden Grove).  Broadwater threw in the towel when the first day of the recount failed to change a single ballot despite 2,500 ballots being […]

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