Elect Diedre Nguyen to push AD-72 in the right direction.
About the Position
State Assembly Members form part of the California State Legislature, and work alongside the governor to establish laws and a state budget. They hold the power to pass bills that affect public policy, set state spending levels, raise and lower taxes, and uphold or override the governor’s vetoes. The California State Assembly has 80 districts. Each represents a population of at least 465,000 Californians. Representatives are elected to the Assembly for a two-year term. Every two years, all 80 seats are subject to election. Members elected before 2012 are restricted to three two-year terms (six years) in the Assembly. Those elected in or after 2012 are allowed to serve 12 years total across both the State Senate and Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 61 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 17 seats. One seat is held by an Independent, and one seat is currently vacant.
About the District
California’s 72nd Assembly District includes parts of Orange County. Notable cities include Huntington Beach, Santa Ana, and Seal Beach. Republicans typically hold this district. The most recent election results show AD-72 voted for Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 and John Cox for governor in 2018. The district has a significant Asian population, primarily Vietnamese. Although previous Vietnamese Democratic candidates have tried to push the region in a more progressive direction, the district remains largely conservative.
About the Race
In the primary, Democrat challenger Diedre Nguyen trailed Republican Representative Janet Nguyen by a margin of 8.3 percent. Diedre Nguyen’s campaign has raised upwards of $278,000. She has not received fossil fuel or corporate money; however, she has received law-enforcement funding. Republican opponent Janet Nguyen has received significant fossil fuel, corporation, and law-enforcement money.
About the Candidate
Diedre Nguyen is from Saigon, Vietnam, and has resided in Garden Grove, CA, since 1995. According to campaign materials, she is running for Assembly to represent her community’s working-class interests by fighting to increase access to economic opportunities. Her campaign promotes investing in education, health care, and environmental protections, to increase the quality of life for the citizens of AD-72. Diedre Nguyen has taken firm stances in support of women’s reproductive rights, as well as LGBTQIA+ and immigrant communities.
Diedre Nguyen a laboratory cancer scientist, which she does to advance cancer research, and is a member of the Garden Grove City Council, to improve access to quality education, spur local business growth, increase job opportunities, and address public safety concerns. Diedre Nguyen has also served on the boards of the Lunar New Year TET Parade, Vietnamese Young Marines, and as vice chair of the Hurricane Haiyan Philippines Fundraiser. She has also been appointed to various other Vietnamese community positions where she successfully worked to bring her community together to solve issues and promote diversity.
Diedre Nguyen has received endorsements from a number of community organizations, including Equality CA, Sierra Club, CA Teachers Association, and Planned Parenthood. She has also received an endorsement from local law enforcement.
Diedre Nguyen is running against Republican Janet Nguyen. Janet Nguyen has received endorsements from the California Pro-Life Council, National Rifle Association, and multiple law-enforcement associations. She has received a 0 percent rating from Planned Parenthood CA, a 15 percent rating from the ACLU, and a 20 percent rating from Sierra Club CA. Throughout her political career, she has voted against a number of key progressive legislation, particularly in relation to criminal-justice reform, gun safety, immigrant protections, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and environmental protections.
Diedre Nguyen is the best progressive choice because of her track record of community service in the Garden Grove community, as well as her vision to fight for an economy that works for everyone in her district, not just those at the top. According to our analysis, Diedre Nguyen is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.