Confusion in the ranks
Orange County Democrats befuddled over endorsements for pro-life primary candidate
"Orange County businessman Phu Nguyen, a Democrat seeking his party’s nomination for the 68th Assembly District, has won endorsements from a long list of party bigwigs, including U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, state Sen. Lou Correa, Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, and Assembly Majority Whip Fiona Ma. But there’s something wrong with this picture: Nguyen is pro-life, his endorsers pro-abortion.
“I’m Catholic and I’m going to stick to my values,” Nguyen recently told the Orange County Register.
“I’ve previously reported that Democrat Joe Dovinh has attracted skepticism in his bid for the 68th Assembly District, but now the establishment-backed Democrat in the race is also raising hackles,” wrote Register political reporter Martin Wisckol in a March 19 column.
Democrats backed away from Dovinh, the other candidate from their party in the race, after Wisckol reported earlier that he was registered as an independent until 2008 and supported John McCain for president against Barack Obama. “That’s led some Democrats to suspect he’s a decoy plant by the GOP, which he denies,” wrote Wisckol.
Wisckol quoted Orange County Democratic Party activist Reggie Mundekis as saying of Nguyen, “I don’t know how he got pushed ahead” by party leaders, especially since Dovinh’s views on abortion are much closer to the party line on the issue.
According to Wisckol, Dovinh has said he is “respectful of a woman’s right to chose when her life is in imminent danger. I believe abortion is a personal decision best left to the influence of family members, religious leaders and medical professionals.”
According to Nguyen’s website, he has also been endorsed by Democratic Assembly members Warren Furutani, Tony Mendoza, Anthony Portanino, Dave Jones, Jim Beall, Kevin De Leon, Mary Hayashi, Mike Eng, Hector De La Torre, and Paul Fong.
The oddity of having a pro-lifer as the Democratic Party’s “establishment” candidate in the 68th District, may, however, be of little significance in the final analysis. “On the Republican side of the race, Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor is given the edge by experts over county schools Trustee Long Pham,” wrote Wisckol. “And Republicans have a 41 percent to 33 percent in voter registration, making the GOP nominee the favorite come November.”
Still, Nguyen remains optimistic. “Forty-one to 33 is a little overwhelming,” Nguyen told the Register. “But when you looks at the numbers on the Republican side who are Vietnamese and decline-to-state, we’re almost to 50 percent.”
I'm hoping this post might bring ultramontane "out" to comment.