After just one day of contesting ballots at the OC Registrar of Voters’ office, Garden Grove’s incumbent Mayor Bruce Broadwater called off a recount and conceded the race to his challenger, Bao Nguyen.
Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley certified the election last Tuesday, which showed Nguyen with a narrow victory of 15 points.
The 76-year-old mayor looked weary Monday evening as his two representatives, termed-out councilwoman and lawyer Dina Nguyen and political consultant Dennis DeSnoo, contested the ballots on his behalf.
Nguyen, a Garden Grove School Board Trustee, was represented by election lawyer Dana Reed.
It took all day for two teams of four workers to count and visually inspect nearly 2,500 vote-by-mail ballots.
Broadwater challenged 64 votes, all of which were upheld by Kelley, who has the final say on whether a vote is valid.
The recount cost Broadwater $1,200.
Nguyen, 34, will be the first Vietnamese American mayor of a city with a population larger than 100,000, and one of few Democrats among the Vietnamese elected officials in Orange County.
He replaces a six-term mayor who has been in elected office for 22 years.
“He had to know that he tried everything,” said Dina Nguyen of Broadwater.