The Republican Party has been imploding in rage since the U.S. Supreme Court gave their blessing to gay marriage but that has not stopped Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen from coming out of the closet, even as he considers a run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat that is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
Nguyen is a Democrat and he will be facing quite a bit of competition from his own party, for the Sanchez seat, in the 46th Congressional District. Other Democrats vying for the seat include former State Legislator and County Supervisor Lou Correa and Los Angeles County resident Heberto Sanchez. The latter is unknown and has previously run for a local office in Pomona, but obviously he shares the same surname as the incumbent, which may benefit his campaign.
Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman is also thought be interested in the 46th C.D. Brandman is also a Democrat but he is allied with former Anaheim Mayor and lobbyist Curt Pringle. Brandman has come under fire for supporting massive tax giveaways to hotel developers and the Disney company.
Brandman has also been rumored for many years to be gay but he has denied this in the past. Will Nguyen’s decision to out himself prompt Brandman to do the same?
If Brandman does come out that means that there will be a good chance that a gay candidate will emerge from the primary election for the 46th C.D. as he and Nguyen would each benefit from the Latino vote split posed by Correa versus Sanchez.
Of course all of this will be a moot point if Rep. Sanchez withdraws from the Senate race she is in and decides to hang on to her House seat.
If a gay candidate ends up emerging from the Open Primary Election and perhaps even winning the seat outright in the General Election, history could be in the making as Orange County has never been represented by a gay Congressman. That said there have been rumors for years that U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican, is secretly gay.
You have to wonder however if a gay candidate would really have a chance of winning in the 46th Congressional District, which includes parts of Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. Latino voters in particular would be a concern as many of them voted for Prop. 8 a few years ago, a ballot measure that banned gay marriage.
Ironically Prop. 8 was supported by many of the same Pringle Republicans who have backed Brandman for years, such as lobbyist Matt Cunningham, whose wife Laura was in charge of Hispanic outreach for the Prop. 8 campaign.
Nguyen could certainly be the best candidate for the 46th based on his background, education and progressive politics. He is known for challenging the status quo and could be reasonably expected to oppose wars and support civil rights.