Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen
Elect Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen to push AD-70 in the right direction.
State assemblymembers represent and advocate for the needs of their district constituents at the California State Capitol. They are responsible for creating, debating, and voting on legislation that addresses issues within their district.
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 or the Assembly. This term, Democrats currently hold a two-thirds supermajority of 56 seats in the California State Assembly, while Republicans hold 19 seats. One seat is held by an Independent and four seats are currently vacant.
California’s 70th Assembly District includes parts of Orange County. Republicans typically hold this district. Of the registered voters in this district, 33% are Republican and 37% are Democrat, and the district’s demographic breakdown is 25% Latino, 40% Asian, and 2% Black. After the 2021 redistricting process, AD-70 is 6% more Democratic than it was during the 2020 general election cycle. The most recent election results show that AD-70 voted for Donald Trump for president in 2020 by 2 points and for John Cox governor in 2018 by 4 points.
There are six candidates running for this seat, including Democrat Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen and Republicans Kimberly Ho, Ted Bui, and Tri Ta. Nguyen’s campaign has raised $2,363,748 and is not funded by corporate PACs or the fossil fuel industry. She has accepted donations from the real estate industry and police unions. The campaigns of Ho, Bui, and Ta have not committed to refusing fossil fuel or corporate PAC money, and all have received donations from the real estate industry. Ho has also received police money.
Diedre Thu-Ha Nguyen, a cancer scientist and mayor pro tem of Garden Grove, is from Saigon, Vietnam, and has lived in Garden Grove, CA, since 1995. According to campaign materials, she is running for election because she wants to help preserve upward mobility for her constituents, who have been pressed by the costs of health care, college tuition, and family care. Nguyen has run for office previously, and won her first race for Garden Grove City Council. She lost her first race for State Assembly against the Republican incumbent by 8 points in a more Republican district.
Nguyen ran for city council because she was frustrated by the lack of outreach and communication from the council to the local community, especially Vietnamese residents. On the Garden Grove City Council, she supported direct COVID-19 relief for renters and small businesses, as well as funding for nonprofits providing direct assistance in the district. She is a longtime community activist in the Vietnamese and Asian American communities, serving on the board and leadership teams of several Asian American interest organizations, including the Lunar New Year TET Festival and the Vietnamese Young Marines.
Nguyen has the endorsement of a strong majority of progressive groups, including Planned Parenthood, Equality California, and labor unions, like NUHW, United Domestic Workers, and Unite Here Local 11. She is also endorsed by the Garden Grove Police Officers Association. Despite Nguyen’s relationship with police unions and lack of campaign-finance pledges, this is a key opportunity to flip this Orange County seat from Republican to Democratic. Based on our analysis, Nguyen’s track record and policy positions demonstrate that she will be a progressive champion for the constituents of AD-70 and will govern effectively in the best interest of this diverse district.