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1st District Special Election: Do Wins Ballot Order Lottery, Candidate Statements, & Who is Chuyen Van Nguyen?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 18, 2014

Supervisor's Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner Andrew Do (R-Westminster), California State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), Councilmember/Deputy DA Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), Television News Anchor Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), and Office Specialist Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana)

The Secretary of State conducted the ballot order lottery on Tuesday and transmitted the results to the Registrar of Voters, and Andrew Do was the big winner, so here’s how each candidate will appear on the January 27, 2015, ballot (assuming their designations aren’t challenged in court by December 26):

  • Andrew Do, Supervisor’s Chief/Businessowner
  • Lou Correa, California State Senator
  • Chris Phan, Councilmember/Deputy DA
  • Chuyen Van Nguyen, Television News Anchor
  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno, Office Specialist

Most OC Political readers are familiar with Do, Correa, Phan, and even Morfin-Moreno, but most have expressed little knowledge of Nguyen.  To fill everyone in, let’s take a closer look at each candidate:

  • Andrew Do (R-Westminster), 51 years old

    Do is a partner in a law firm who was a deputy district attorney for eight years and who served as Chief of Staff to former Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who vacated this Supervisor’s seat to become a California State Senator. As an attorney, he has served as President of the Asian Bar Association of California and the Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Southern California.  He is a former adjunct professor at Cal State Fullerton and judge pro tem in the old Orange County Municipal Court.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Do grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending Junior High and High School in Garden Grove.  He is a graduate of Santa Ana College, UC Davis, and UC Hastings.

    Do was elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 2008 and served for three years. (He now lives in Westminster.)

    Do’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Republican Party of Orange County, former Supervisors/current Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Supervisor-Elect Michelle Steel, Congressmen Ed Royce and Dana Rohrabacher, Congresswoman-Elect Mimi Walters, and Assembly Members Young Kim, Travis Allen, Matt Harper, and Don Wagner.

  • Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 56 years old (though he will turn 57 on January 24)

    Spending the majority of his career in elective office, Correa was an investment banker and real estate broker before entering the State Assembly.  He is a licensed attorney, though opted to go the banking and real estate route before entering politics.  A native Californian, Correa grew up in the Fourth Supervisorial District, attending K-12 in Anaheim.  He is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and UCLA.

    After narrowly losing a 1996 Assembly bid by 93 votes, Correa became a State Assemblyman in 1998, termed out in 2004, and then held this same Supervisor’s seat from 2005-2006.  He resigned from the Board of Supervisors in 2006 to enter the State Senate, where he stayed until terming out last month.  His resignation from the Board caused a February 2007 special election, only the second special election for Supervisor in Orange County history.  Janet Nguyen won that special election to fill his old Supervisorial seat and now holds his old Senate seat.

    Correa’s candidacy for Supervisor is endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens, District Attorney-Public Administrator Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County Labor Federation (i.e. association of unions), the Orange County Employees Association (i.e. general public employee union), the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association (i.e. the fire union), and the Orange County Business Council.

  • Chris Phan (R-Garden Grove), 40 years old (though he will turn 41 on January 14)

    Phan has been a deputy district attorney for two years.  He served on active duty in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (anyone remember the TV show JAG?) from 2001-2008.  He was a JAG defense attorney from 2001-2003, JAG prosecutor from 2003-2005, and served generally as a JAG attorney from 2005-2008.  He is currently a lieutenant commander in the Navy reserve.  Fleeing Vietnam as a child, Phan grew up in Indiana and has lived in Orange County for six years.  He is a graduate of Indiana University and Southern Illinois University.

    Phan was elected to the Garden Grove City Council two years ago.  Ironically, Phan holds the exact same seat that Do held for three years.

  • Chuyen Van Nguyen (NPP-Garden Grove), 65 years old

    Nguyen is currently an anchor on VNA-TV (Vietnam America Television), Channel 57.3.  He has previously been an aircraft parts manufacturing supervisor, marketing consultant, newspaper publisher (Tieng-Chuong), and staffer for former State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana).  He was a pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force from 1970-1975 and was a Lieutenant when Saigon fell.  Politically, he was active in various Vietnamese organizations in the early 1990s.  After fleeing Vietnam, Nguyen settled in Texas before eventually moving to Westminster.

    In 1998, Nguyen ran for Mayor of Westminster and came in fourth out of five candidates (Tony Lam won his third election to the City Council in that same election); Mayor Frank Fry was re-elected, beating Mayor Pro Tem Joy Neugebauer by 3.5%.  (He now lives in Garden Grove.)  Considering his poor finish in 1998 when he held greater name ID than he does now and considering he didn’t even have the $2500 to get a ballot statement, he is expected to only play spoiler in this election by splitting the Vietnamese vote.

  • Lupe Morfin-Moreno (R-Santa Ana), 57 years old

    Morfin-Moreno is currently an office specialist with the Orange County Health Care Agency.  Politically, she is best known as an anti-illegal immigration activist and Minuteman.  A former Central Committee member, she lost her Central Committee bids in both 2010 and 2012 (Central Committee members who were elected in 2012 now serve four-year terms, rather than two-year terms due to change in the California Elections Code, so the next Central Committee election is in 2016).  A native Californian, Morfin-Moreno grew up in the First Supervisorial District, attending elementary, junior high, and high school in Santa Ana.

    Morfin-Moreno previously ran for Mayor of Santa Ana in 2012 (coming in fourth out of six candidates), this same Supervisor’s seat in the 2007 special election (coming in ninth out of ten candidates after dropping out of the race), the State Senate in 2006 (losing the primary to Lynn Daucher, who then loss the general election to Correa), the Santa Ana Unified School District in 2002 (missing a seat by 486 votes) and in 2000 (coming in seventh of nine candidates).

Do, Correa, and Phan got ballot statements while Nguyen and Morfin-Moreno did not.

Here’s Do’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

At the urging of many Orange County leaders, I decided to run for County Supervisor. My experience includes:

Orange County Judge Pro Tem; Deputy District Attorney; City Councilman; Small Business Owner; Orange County Supervisor’s Chief of Staff.

As a Deputy District Attorney, I spent eight years fighting to make our community safe, prosecuting violent criminals and sex offenders.

As your Supervisor, I will fight hard for:

Local businesses and job creation, higher educational standards, health care programs, less waste in government, strong public safety, and anti-gang programs. I oppose tax increases.

Serving as Chief of Staff to California State Senator and Supervisor Janet Nguyen gives me valuable experience and an in-depth understanding of issues facing our area. Senator Nguyen urged
me to run for Supervisor.

I have deep family roots in central Orange County, having attended Jordan Jr. High, Bolsa Grande High School and Santa Ana College. I’m a graduate of the University of California, Hastings School of Law.

U.S Representatives Ed Royce and Mimi Walters, Senators Janet Nguyen and Pat Bates, Assembly members Young Kim and Matt Harper and Supervisor Michelle Steel have all endorsed me and I would be honored to receive your vote. Please visit www.AndrewDo2015.com. Thank you.

Here’s Correa’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

It’s been an honor to work for you as your State Senator. Now, I respectfully ask for your support as your County Supervisor.

In the Legislature, my priorities have been jobs, public safety and public education. My work has earned me endorsements from respected leaders and organizations, including:

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Orange County Professional Firefighters Association
Orange County Business Council

I helped cut taxes on small businesses and stopped unnecessary regulations. As a result of my work, I’ve been honored by the Orange County Taxpayers Association and named the California Small Business Association’s “Legislator of the Year.”

I’ve made our schools better and safer. I brought more education money and local control back to Orange County. I also co-wrote the new law to protect our children from heinous crimes. That’s why the California School Boards Association made me their “Legislator of the Year”.

It’s been an honor to represent you during these difficult economic times. Now, I’d like to bring my understanding of our communities to work for you as County Supervisor.

No one will work harder. I respectfully ask for your vote.

For more information please visit: www.loucorrea.com

Here’s Phan’s statement (assuming it isn’t challenged in court by December 26):

Embracing our diversity. Uniting our community. Serving our people!

As a former refugee, I am blessed to live the American Dream! I have served our country with honor and pride as a Navy officer for over 14 years. I am currently serving our community as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney and a Garden Grove City Councilmember. I humbly ask for your support to become your 1st
District Orange County Supervisor.

Military experience and public service taught me that our strength lies in our diversity. Orange County is truly a melting pot of culture, background, and ethnicity. As Supervisor, I will work hard to attract businesses to our District, increase employment, provide greater safety for our community, and protect our resources.

Over many months, I have walked and met many of our District’s residents. I have listened, learned, and shared many ideas with our residents so that I will be well-equipped and prepared to serve our County to the best of my ability.

Please learn about my candidacy at www.votechrisphan.com. I would be honored to have your vote and support. Together, we will ensure a brighter future for our County and forge a better tomorrow for our families. Thank you!

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: Senator Janet Nguyen and candidate Chuyen Van Nguyen are not related to each other, and neither of them are related to me.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

AD-74: Land of Small Warchests

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 3, 2014

Well, campaign finance figures are out, and OC Political will be doing our signature in-depth slicing and dicing of campaign finance numbers in the coming days.  Last week, we had several candidates send over press releases touting their fundraising prowess.  Some even asked us explicitly to post their releases.  We opted not to post any of those until we could examine the numbers ourselves.  Indeed, six months ago, I admonished readers to check the numbers against the press release claims in a post on AD-55.  Some candidates are spinning wildly, but there are other times when candidates’ numbers actually gel well with their press releases.  The only way to figure out which is the case is to look at the numbers.

So on to the numbers…

First up is the race for AD-74 to replace Allan Mansoor, who is leaving the Assembly to run for the 2nd District Supervisor’s seat, being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach.  AD-74 consists of Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, the southern half of Huntington Beach, and portions of Irvine.  There are four declared Republican candidates: Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper, Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry, Assemblyman Travis Allen’s District Director Emanuel Patrascu, and H&R Block Franchise Associate Karina Onofre.

AD-74 Candidates Matt Harper, Keith Curry, Emanuel Patrascu, and Karina Onofre

AD-74 Candidates Matt Harper, Keith Curry, Emanuel Patrascu, and Karina Onofre

The numbers in AD-74 show this is anybody’s race.  None of the candidates have particularly large warchests.  Multiple candidates in races for other offices have raised more than all the AD-74 candidates combined.  Curry and Patracu have the largest warchests (or perhaps “least small warchests” would be more appropriate).  Patrascu is ahead of Curry by a few thousand dollars, but Curry is raising money at a faster pace.  Patrascu had more donors but Curry’s donors gave larger amounts on average.  Harper is in debt, and Onofre didn’t reach the threshold to trigger electronic filing.  (Actually, Harper didn’t reach the threshold to trigger electronic filing either, but he still opted to file an electronic report.)

Huntington Beach Mayor Matt Harper entered the race the third week of November.  He reported a $4,100 max-out contribution from Karen Harper on December 7.  Matt Harper loaned his own campaign $2,000 on Christmas Eve.

Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry entered the race the first week of December.  On December 6, he transferred 20 contributions totaling $6,490 from his City Council account to his Assembly account.  During the rest of December, he raised $20,705 from 22 donors, plus another $495 from small unitemized donations.  His donations included $4,100 max-out contributions from the Orange County Business Council‘s BIZPAC and the campaign committee of former Senator Tom Harman.  He also reported $1,000 from Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong (who was the unsuccessful Republican nominee in CD-47 in 2012 against Alan Lowenthal), $500 from former Newport Beach Mayor Tod Ridgeway, and $250 from Curry’s council colleague, Nancy Gardner.  If Curry can continue his pace of $21,200 per month, he will quickly amass the largest warchest in AD-74.  However, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Curry defy the odds?

Emanuel Patrascu, who is Assemblyman Travis Allen‘s District Director and was formerly on the staff of Senator Tom Harman, announced his official November 18 kick-off in September but had been raising money prior to his kick-off.  He reported $25,079 from 41 donors, plus another $1,266 from small unitemized donations.  His donations included $4,100 max-out contributions from businessmen Kieu Hoang and Buddy Molway.  He also reported $500 from Harman’s campaign committee in October and $2,000 in prior reporting periods, for a total of $2,500 from Tom Harman‘s committee.  He also reported $1,000 from former California Republican Party Chairman Mike Schroeder, $250 from the former Assembly campaign committee of Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric (the CRP’s Immediate Past Vice Chair), and $150 from the campaign committee of Westminster Mayor Tri Ta.  Patrascu loaned himself $5,000 on New Year’s Eve, $1,500 in June, and $18,700 in 2012.  He raised $17,600 during the same period that Curry raised $21,200 (Patrascu raised $2,750 after his campaign kick-off but before Curry entered the race).  If Patrascu can continue his pace of $17,600 per month, then he will be able to build a sizeable warchest. As I said with Curry, however, many candidates find their fundraising slows down after an initial burst after their campaigns launch when they pick up their low-hanging fruit donors; can Patrascu defy the odds?

Businesswoman Karina Onofre, who previously ran unsuccessfully for Santa Ana City Council in 2012, entered the race Thanksgiving week.  She did not file her campaign finance report electronically, as she did not reach the $25,000 threshold to require electronic filing.

For visual learners:

Candidate 1/1/13-6/30/13
Contributions
7/1/13-12/31/13
Contributions
Transfers Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
Expenditures Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Harper N/A $4,100 $0 $2,000 $1,927 $3,916 $2,185 $258 -($1,742)
Curry N/A $21,200 $6,490 $100,000 $0 $681 $127,009 $127,009 $27,009
Patrascu $8,950 $26,345 $0 $26,700 $551 $2,083 $59,942 $59,391 $32,691
Onofre N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for July 1-December 31, 2013 were due last week.

By the way, OC Political probably won’t detail individual donors in most races; it’s just that AD-74 had so few donors, it was doable.  In other races, the data is more voluminous.

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Orange County Business Council Endorses Tom Daly for State Assembly

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 22, 2012

This came over the wire from OCBC via the Tom Daly for Assembly campaign on Monday…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 16, 2012

ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESS COUNCIL ENDORSES

TOM DALY FOR STATE ASSEMBLY

 IRVINE, CA—Orange County Business Council (OCBC), the leading voice of business in Orange County, has endorsed Tom Daly for State Assembly, 69th District. Daly currently serves as the Orange County Clerk-Recorder, and has for the last ten years. Prior to his election as Clerk-Recorder, Daly served as Mayor of Anaheim for ten years, as an Anaheim City Councilman for four years, and as member of the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees for three years. Read the rest of this entry »

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OCBC Issues Correction & Apology to Mansoor

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 5, 2012

In an embarrassing press release, OCBC had to admit that their score for Assemblyman Allan Mansoor was miscalculated.  There have been many grumblings about the misalignment of the OCBC scorecard with those of other business groups, and now just outright getting Mansoor’s score wrong lands another blow to the credibility of the OCBC scorecard.  Here’s their full press release that came over the wire yesterday:

OCBC Sets the Record Straight on Mansoor

IRVINE, CA — Orange County Business Council (OCBC) has issued a correction of its Legislative Scorecard, originally produced and distributed last October, 2011.  A transposition of one vote caused the score for Assembly member Alan Mansoor to be miscalculated at a lower rate than it should have been. His correct score is 72% pro-business legislative votes aligned with OCBC’s policy positions.

OCBC takes position and advocates on behalf of dozens of state bills throughout the legislative session. In 2011, OCBC identified 30 bills to track the votes of the OC legislative delegation. The list of these bills was provided to legislative members in May 2011.  The adjusted calculation of the legislator’s “score” is based on the number of times a legislator voted with OCBC, divided by the total number of times a legislator was present for a vote.

The mistaken score has been posted on the OCBC website since last October.  The information was recently used by Assembly candidate Leslie Daigle in campaign material, which is when the error was discovered.  The error in information lies entirely with OCBC  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 74th Assembly District | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »