News / USA

Hispanic, Vietnamese-American Candidates Compete for California Seat

Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez

One of the most heated Congressional races in the United States pits a Hispanic Democrat, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, against a Vietnamese-American Republican named Van Tran.  Both are working to mobilize supporters in their own ethnic community while reaching out to other voters.

Volunteers in California and other Western states are registering Hispanic voters ahead of the election.  

This group, Voto Latino, is a non-partisan organization.  But both major parties are working to attract these newly-registered voters.

In Orange County, California, the Democratic incumbent Congressional member, Loretta Sanchez, wants to mobilize Hispanics while also reaching out to other ethnic groups.  Most Hispanics in California are registered Democrats, and Sanchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.  But there's concern that some Hispanics may sit out this election, so Sanchez got help at a recent rally from former President Bill Clinton.

"You come up with the same answer, Loretta Sanchez, every single time," said Bill Clinton. "You go tell people that, then she'll have a great night election night.  Thank you, and God bless you all."

The seven-term Congresswoman is locked in a tight race with a Vietnamese immigrant, Republican Van Tran.  Tran is getting help from prominent Republicans, including former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"And we will get on the right track," she said.

Tran was born in Vietnam and has wide support among Vietnamese immigrants, like high school student Vivian Le.

"Because I think he's good," she said. "He's a great guy.  And I think Loretta Sanchez, 14 years, she has to go.  Step off, and then Van Tran has to come.  We need change."

Orange County has large numbers of Latinos and the highest concentration of Vietnamese immigrants in the United States - and Republicans hope to get support from both groups.  Tran says he understands the district's Hispanics.

"I have more in common as a first-generation immigrant with the Latino community than my opponent," said Tran. "I understand about the difficulties and the challenges of the assimilation process, the cultural gap and language gap, and all the challenges for families who want, of course, to assimilate and contribute back to their new country."

Democrat Sanchez says she appeals across ethnic lines because of her record.

"The Vietnamese Americans here have the same issues that the rest of the community does," said Sanchez. "They own small businesses, they don't have health care for their people, people aren't spending as much money, many of them have had to close, so I've been talking to them about the 16 bills that we've passed with respect to small business."

Tran has accused Sanchez of using race to boost support among Hispanic voters.  Sanchez said last month on Spanish-language television that the Republicans and Vietnamese are trying to take away her seat and she called her opponent anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic.  She later apologized for the remark.

Both parties say, at a time of voter frustration, they must mobilize to win, and generate enthusiasm in the remaining days before the November 2 election.  

You May Like

Video Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs