It’s not exactly a secret, but Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen made it official today. He’s “going national” and running for Loretta Sanchez’s seat in Congress.
GARDEN GROVE, CA – Bao Nguyen today announced his candidacy for Congress in California’s 46th district. Bao, whose family emigrated from Vietnam, has devoted his career to the citizens of the district, serving as a teacher, running for school board and most recently, serving as the Mayor of Garden Grove.
“I’m excited to announce that I will be running for Congress in the place I have always called home. I can’t wait to take my passion, and the passion of so many others around me, to try and bring reform to Washington, D.C.”
Born in a Thailand refugee camp, Bao and his family arrived to the United States when he was only three months of age. His parents emigrated to the U.S. to ensure that their children would be provided with the opportunities that they otherwise would not have been given in Vietnam.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I am pretty impatient when I see something wrong, or something that needs to be fixed. And everyone I talk to says that Washington is very badly broken. It’s time to start the hard work of reforming Washington.”
Bao – who speaks English, Spanish and Vietnamese – was elected as the first Vietnamese-American Mayor of Garden Grove in 2014. Prior to his election, he served, by appointment in 2011, then by election in 2012, as trustee of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education, including a term as Vice-President. In 2014, Mayor Nguyen was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Orange County Fair Board of Directors, California 32nd District Agricultural Association.
“The people want immigration reform, but it doesn’t happen. People want to protect women’s health care, but it’s attacked at every turn. People want good jobs with real opportunity, but our elected leaders just fight and bicker. It’s time to have a government that actually listens to the people it represents.”
Bao’s roots are in this district. He attended Garden Grove public schools and graduated from Pacifica High School. After receiving a college degree from UC Irvine and a Master’s from Naropa University, Bao came back to Garden Grove to teach, before turning to public service. While earning his degree in Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, Nguyen interned for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, under Executive Order 13125 in Rockville, Maryland.
“My parents came to this country to ensure that my siblings and I would be able to experience the type of freedom they were never afforded. Because of their sacrifices, I have been able to live the American dream. I want to make sure that all kids, no matter who they are or where they are from, have the same opportunities as me. That’s the beauty of our country – anyone can succeed as long as they are given a chance.”