The latest election night results showed Republican Janet Nguyen take the lead over her Democrat opponent, Diedre Nguyen, for the 72nd state Assembly District, an area that includes Little Saigon and contains a vast Asian and Vietnamese American population.
Up until around 10:30 p.m., Diedre Nguyen had been leading over Janet Nguyen until the latest results flipped the vote-getter rankings.
This area became a closely-watched contest ever since the incumbent, Assemblyman Tyler Diep, was knocked out in the primary amid tension between himself and the Republican Party over labor union-friendly votes in Sacramento.
Janet Nguyen, a former Republican state senator and former Garden Grove council member, and Deidre Nguyen, a current Democratic Garden Grove council member, are both two Vietnamese American women facing off for control of a majority Republican electorate.
Around 36 percent of voters in the district are registered Republicans, while 34 percent are registered as Democrats, according to county elections data from Tuesday.
Janet Nguyen, most recently, is running on addressing the needs of small businesses crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and criticism of state lawmakers in a Democrat-controlled Sacramento who “want to shut down our economy, defund our police and open prison doors.”
Deidre Nguyen is running on a platform that partly focuses on wealth and income inequality — on the homepage of her website, she states: “Too many hard-working people find it harder and harder to achieve or maintain the upward mobility and Middle Class prosperity California has offered for so long. Healthcare costs, college tuition, a lack of retirement savings, care for the elderly are all putting pressures on families who feel squeezed more than ever.”
In March, Janet Nguyen — the top vote getter in the primary race — pulled nearly 34 percent of the vote while Deidre Nguyen pulled 25 percent.
This district includes areas in the following cities: Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, the unincorporated Midway City, the unincorporated Rossmoor, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Westminster.
These results reflect all early votes cast up to Monday night. It doesn’t include ballots cast in person on Election Day or mail-in ballots that arrived after Monday evening.
Election Day ballots are scheduled to be reported out in updates from county election officials Tuesday, starting at 9 p.m. In California, mail-in ballots can arrive in the days after the election and still count as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day.