Van Tran Not So Hot (with audio from Quach accident)

Assemblyman Van Tran

Assemblyman Van Tran

Despite being feted, celebrated and touted by Republicans at the outset, Van Tran has failed to live up to expectations.

“Despite all the early hype, Van Tran has totally failed to live up to expectations,” said Andy Stone, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  “After disrupting an active police investigation, filing to run for a different elected office in the midst of his Congressional effort, and putting up ‘disappointing’ third quarter fundraising numbers, Tran’s campaign sure leaves a lot to be desired.”

NRCC Recruitment Chair Kevin McCarthy once called Tran one of the “top people” he’d gone after and said that Tran would “transcend” Republican politics.  Other Republican  leaders also heavily recruited Tran and Tran was even named an NRCC “Young Gun.”

But since then, Tran’s star has faded rapidly.

Despite being in the midst of a Congressional campaign, Tran filed to run for State Senate in 2012.

Then in August, Tran let loose at the scene of a police investigation involving a local city councilmember.  Tran was so disruptive, and had to be warned multiple times not to interfere, that a police sergeant on the scene had to threaten him with arrest to get him to stay away.


Here is a rough transcript of Tran’s interaction with police on August 2, 2009:

Officer:  Yeah, can I help you?

Tran: Yeah, I’m with Andy.

Officer:  Okay, well, you’ll have to let them do their job right now.

Tran:  I’m his lawyer.

Officer:  He’s doing a field sobriety test right now, okay?  Can I ask you to stand back over here?

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Sir?  You’re going to need to back up a little bit, okay?

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Right now.  Please back up.

Tran:  Okay.  How far do you want me…?

Officer:  I want you back by that car over there.

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  Sir, I’ve asked you to back up over there.

Tran:  I’m his lawyer!

Officer:  I don’t care who you are.  I understand that, you need to back up over here.

Tran:  I’m not interfering.

Officer:  You are interfering.  I’m going to warn you, a field sobriety test officer, it’s very obvious. 

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Officer:  You need to stand over there.  If you come back over here again, I’m going to have you arrested.  I’m not going to stand by this car.

Tran:  (unintelligible)

Tran put up a “disappointing” number and was even outraised by a Republican primary opponent this past quarter.  According to The Hill, Tran was one of the “hyped challengers to several targeted incumbents [who] didn’t do much with their third quarters.” 


  • “Hyped challengers to several targeted incumbents didn’t do much with their third quarters.  Raising less than $100,000 for the quarter were…Republican Van Tran, who is challenging Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).” [The Hill, 10/17/09]
  • “California Assemblyman Van Tran, running against Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), had an even more disappointing outcome. He only collected $92,000 and was actually outraised by Quang Pham, another Vietnamese candidate challenging him in the primary.”  [Politico, 10/16/09]
  • Assemblyman Van Tran was so disruptive at the scene of the police investigation into Councilman Andy Quach’s car crash that a sergeant had to threaten him with arrest to get him to stay away, according to incident transcripts released today by the police chief. [Orange County Register, 8/6/09]
  • Van Tran filed to run for the 35th State Senate District in 2012. [CA Secretary of State, Form 410, filed 7/07/09]
  • Tran had been recruited heavily by GOP leaders in Washington. [Orange County Register, 5/6/09]
  • “I’ve been working on recruitment, and this is one of the top people I’ve gone after since the very beginning,” said McCarthy, who served in the state Assembly with Tran. “Tran transcends Republican politics, and he will be able to reach out to independents and moderate Democrats.” [Politico, 4/28/09]
  • Tran is a Young Gun. [NRCC Young Guns site, accessed 10/19/09]