Despite facing numerous lawsuits and an incredibly nasty public relations campaign by her Republican opponents in the past several months, Janet Nguyen sailed through yesterday's election to seal her supervisorial seat. Nguyen easily beat Westminster city councilwoman Dina Nguyen and Hoa Tran, a rare Vietnamese-American Democrat most famous for employing gang members as campaign workers.
Far more surprising than Nguyen's victory, however was who wasn't even on the ballot: Trung Nguyen, the favored candidate of Van Thai Tran who narrowly lost to Nguyen last year and, with the aid of GOP operative Michael Schroeder, harassed Nguyen with numerous appeals, lawsuits and allegations of fundraising shenanigans. For reasons that still aren't clear, Trung Nguyen backed out of the race earlier this year.
That didn't keep the race from being dirty, though, with just about all the candidates accusing each other of being commies. Nguyen's supporters have always argued that she represents a new type of Vietnamese-American politician, an independent-minded leader whose lack of accomplishments so far is the fault of the folks like Schroeder who've tied her up with petty distractions. Now that they've lost and she's won (again), it'll be interesting to see how she handles herself–and what Schroeder et al do with all their new-found free time.