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    Sen. Janet Nguyen wants a spot on the OC Board of Supervisors again
    • July 11, 2023

    State Sen. Janet Nguyen is running for the First District seat on the OC Board of Supervisors — an entity she’s served on before.

    And as far as goals go, Nguyen said she has many.

    “I’m well aware that the Board of Supervisors can make a direct impact on quality of life, whether it’s crime, homelessness, cost of living, traffic congestion, health care,” Nguyen said in a phone interview.

    Earlier this year, Nguyen was elected Senate Minority Caucus chair, a position which required her to lead floor operations, run caucus meetings and put together the Republicans’ agenda with Minority Leader Brian Jones of San Diego. She is the highest-ranking Vietnamese American elected official currently serving in California’s government, according to her office.

    She has also served as a state assemblymember, Garden Grove councilmember and First District county supervisor.

    “For the last several months I have heard from constituents and community leaders from throughout the First District who have urged me to return to the Board of Supervisors,” Nguyen said. “I share their frustration with the super-majority in Sacramento and its misguided priorities and have always believed that the most effective government is the one closest to the people.”

    She describes her political philosophy as “conservative, compassionate and reflective” of those she represents in office.

    Supervisor Andrew Do, who represents the First District and serves as vice chairman of the board, is term-limited.

    Nguyen has already received support from Garden Grove Councilmember Stephanie Klopfenstein.

    “Sacramento has proven to be incapable of fixing what’s wrong in California and the super-majority in the legislature is not interested in our problems here in Orange County,” Klopfestein said in a news release. “We need our best, brightest and most experienced problem-solvers working right here at home.”

    Nguyen has been named “Legislator of the Year” by the American Legion, the Association of the U.S. Army and the Vietnam Veterans of America. She was also named “Champion of Manufacturing” by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and “Elected Official of the Year” by the American Council of Engineering Companies.

    While serving as a county supervisor in 2013, a grand jury report criticized Nguyen’s role at CalOptima, the county’s public health plan for low-income residents. The grand jury report noted CalOptima as a troubled organization that saw high executive turnover since Nguyen joined its board. However, Nguyen said she remedied an organization that she described as having been badly mismanaged before she joined its board of directors.

    Nguyen and her family arrived in California in 1981 after fleeing Vietnam. A graduate of UC Irvine, she has lived in the district for more than 30 years and resides in Huntington Beach.

    The race for the District 1 seat is heating up with Cypress City Councilmember Frances Marquez, former Assemblymember Van Tran and Westminster Councilmember Kimberly Ho also vying for the position.

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    ​ Orange County Register