Nguyen Coasts to Victory in D4

With all precincts reporting and only last-minute mail-in ballots yet to be counted, Manh Nguyen finished Election Day with a solid 13.6-point lead over his opponent in San Jose's District 4 City Council race.

Tim Orozco, a policy aide for state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, came away with 43.22 percent of the vote (4,059 ballots) against 56.78 percent (5,333) for Nguyen, who owns a Vietnamese-language media company. The next tally is expected at 5pm today, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.

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The victory will make 62-year-old Nguyen the second Vietnamese-American on the council. It also gives Mayor Sam Liccardo a new ally, another fiscal conservative on a council divided between business and labor interests. Nguyen was endorsed by Liccardo in the runoff and by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Orozco, 56, enjoyed support from the South Bay Labor Council.

Nguyen will replace Liccardo ally Margie Matthews, who was appointed by former Mayor Chuck Reed to fill the District 4 seat after Kansen Chu won election to the state Assembly.


  1. > . . . for Nguyen, who owns a Vietnamese-language media company.

    That media company would be “Vietnam Liberty News”.

    It’s a hopeful sign that our new council member has more than a passing association with “liberty”.

  2. If these council seat elections were open to “all” registered voters of San Jose, not just those who live in that district, the outcome might be different.
    How he votes on issues can/ will affect me as a resident of San Jose. Just not fair.

    • It’s fair in that each area of the city is represented through a council member who represents that area (district).

      In other cities where there aren’t districts, you see council members living primarily in one area (often a wealthier area), leaving other areas without any representation. There are other cities in the SF Bay area in this situation.

      • Good comment, County Resident. However, the entire city is under-represented.

        If San Jose has 1 million residents that means each council district respectively has 100,000 residents.

        That means your council member and their four staff are supposed represent the needs of 25,000 residents apiece!

        Let’s be clear, 100,000 people is a congressional district. San Jose and Santa Clara County has always been poorly under-represented. Five people oversee a county of 1.3 million residents – crazy.

        I’m not for a bigger government just a better portional representation.

    • You are right Results would’ve been different – Orozco would have beaten by a much larger margin… the guy was a mess.

    • Is it “just not fair” that you can’t vote for a Congressperson running to represent a district in a different state? You have your own Councilman, democracy is about compromise.

    • I agree. Robert! What is happening to our party? Instead of allowing the voters to choose the best two candidates for a run-off, the Democrats cleared the field for an alcoholic, homeless guy who does most of his begging on the streets of San Diego.

      Question to the Democratic party leadership – do you vet these guys at all? I live in Berryessa and never heard of this Orozco before the party decided “he’s our guy.”

      I hope we learned as lesson from this and do not clear the field for Hilary. Have we vetted her?

      • Different subject but along the lines of, “Our Party”

        The Democratic symbol of the “Jack-a**” was chosen by Andrew Jackson (whom himself owned 16 slaves) because his opponents were calling him that as a play on his name.

        Why is our party symbol that of a slave owning jack-a**? It too should be just a painful reminder of a time when the party was against abolishing slavery as the Dixie flag? I think we should change it to a blue lion, one of my friends said a golden retriever. “You *get* on this, Robert! If I might put forth a suggestion… personally would like the party’s new animal to be a Golden Lab.. Good natured. Loves people. Great with kids. Perhaps a *little* destructive of property. Haven’t encountered a mean one yet.”

        I swear, I could hook a generator up to my Dem’s friends heads right now and solve the energy crisis with that..

        • I have successfully resisted the temptation to offer up my suggestion for a representative symbol of the Democratic Party, thereby avoiding outbreaks of ill will and possible violence.

          • Ha! I think the symbol for the Democratic party should be a lemming. :-) Or maybe one of those Obama phones.

      • There have been numerous cases in the Bay Area of staffers (to elected Democrats) who decide to run for office. How does serving as a staffer give someone the qualifications to be a good representative of the people? I can see how it helps him/her know how to run a campaign and make Dem party connections, but that has no bearing on being a good representative.

        And @Fiftyshades – regarding your question about Dem party leadership vetting candidates – See the book by Dye and Ziegler ‘Irony of Democracy’ starting on page 136 – “party organizations are oligarchic and dominated by ideological activists largely out of touch with the more moderate voters.’

        At the state and national level, we vote for our party representatives who then control the party endorsement process, but at the local party level, we don’t know who is making the decisions about endorsements for local races, and what their qualifications are to represent party members. Labor has an extremely strong influence on the Dem party at the local level, especially in Santa Clara County. Candidates who are not completely in step with what labor wants are not going to get endorsed by the Dem party.

  3. I’m glad he won by a decisive margin. At lease the voters aren’t terribly divided. Originally I supported him, but I was SO DISGUSTED by things too innumerable to count with both candidates that I ended up not voting (a first for me). Man’s people called me on election day, practically begging me to go out and vote. The guy was very persuasive, too. But ultimately, after visiting the candidates’ web sites one more time and doing some soul searching, I decided to just stay home and leave the voting to people who feel strongly about the candidates.
    I wish Mr. Nguyen the best and hope he will serve his constituents well. I hope he won’t be like Kansen Chu, who didn’t really seem to care at all about anything and was just using the office as a springboard to further his political ambitions.

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