o.c. supervisor candidates are all vietnamese

In Orange County, for the first time ever, all the candidates vying for an open supervisor's seat are Vietnamese American: O.C.'s 1st District has a first: all Vietnamese candidates. Incumbent Janet Nguyen is being challenged by fellow Republican Dina Nguyen, a Garden Grove councilwoman, and Hoa Van Tran, a political newcomer and the lone Democrat in the race.

The 2007 special election registered the Vietnamese community as a voting force when Janet Nguyen and Trung Nguyen, her chief rival, took nearly half the votes in the 10-candidate field, upsetting party-endorsed candidates. Vietnamese voters make up only a quarter of the electorate in the 1st District.

Since then, Janet Nguyen has faced quite a bit of controversy in office, starting with a close win decided by a three-vote margin. And now, she's been slogging through a tough and bitter campaign. Her chief challenger, Dina Nguyen, has the backing of Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Garden Grove), the highest-ranking Vietnamese American elected official in the state and something of a political godfather to Vietnamese political hopefuls across the country.

Crazy. Vietnamese American have become a political force to be reckoned with. But when all the candidates are Vietnamese, their ethnic identity is no longer a distinguishing characteristic to voters. So who will come out on top? It's all going down on June 3 in Orange County.

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