Van Tran awaits election results at his campaign headquarters in Garden Grove on Nov. 2. (Photo by: Adam Elmahrek)

Although incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez holds a formidable lead in the 47th Congressional District contest, her Republican opponent, Van Tran, said Wednesday that he is not yet considering concession speeches.

At least not until early next week. That’s when a good chunk of absentee and provisional ballots will be counted.

“We have a steep hill to climb,” Tran said. “Loretta has a 6,600 vote surplus over us, but I think we’ll have a better picture toward the end of the week when a good chunk of absentees are counted.”

It is difficult to imagine Tran overtaking Sanchez, who holds a 50.9 percent to 42.1 percent advantage. However, history has shown that absentee and provisional votes often make big differences in municipal elections involving large numbers of Vietnamese voters.

In fact, there’s a good number of political careers across Little Saigon (like Garden Grove Councilman Andrew Do and Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep) that were come-from-behind victories fueled by aggressive absentee and provisional voter outreach.

The Registrar of Voters doesn’t have a way to tabulate outstanding absentees and provisional votes by individual races. However, Tran’s calculations tell him that he has a chance.

“A good quarter of the electorate has yet to come in yet,” he said, estimating it could be as much as 20,000 ballots. Tran said he expects a total turnout for the race of 85,000 ballots cast.

And based on other local city council candidates whom Tran is tracking, he’s got a hunch that a bunch of friendly ballots are out there.

“The Vietnamese ballots are not fully counted yet,” he said.

So it seems that the Vietnamese community could have the final say on Tran’s future.


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