As far as I can tell, Pedroza’s OCPolitics Blog broke the news for the English-speaking world: Republican Assembly candidate for the 72nd District, Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep, has dropped out of the race. Press reports and rumors suggest different reasons – he was pressured by the OC GOP establishment which favors Matt Harper (or maybe the new candidate Troy Edgar); he believes (wrongly) that Vietnamese-Americans will have a better chance at keeping Van Tran’s old seat if there are only two Viet candidates instead of three; his new fiancee isn’t keen on losing him to the distant squirrel-infested Sodom of Sacramento.
So, I asked Tyler myself, having my ways of finding people’s cell phone number. And he insists, repeatedly but cryptically, that it is just “NOT YET MY TIME.” He emphatically states that “no person or group” pressured him out of the race, adding with a macho flourish that if someone had pressured him, he may very well have stayed in the race in defiance. “IT’S JUST NOT MY TIME.”
Ha. I still say he left because he was getting NO SUPPORT from the local Republican institutions – what else does “not my time” mean? I remember well the story we broke here of sweaty-palmed GOP bagman Jon Fleischman hectoring Tyler’s boss, Board of Equalization member Michelle Steele, to rescind her endorsement of Tyler. And lilywhite neophyte HB councilman Matt Harper has racked up ALL the big endorsements – Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, all the local GOP Mayors, all the Supervisors, the Young Republicans, the list goes on and on. (Even though Tyler ran circles around Matt in fundraising.)
And I still say Viets should be pissed at the Republicans for this slight, in the one Sacramento seat where they had half a chance at being represented – the seat (roughly) where Boss Van Tran reigned supreme for so many years. It’s just silly for Tyler or anyone else to say that they have a better chance with two candidates than three, when you take a look at the other two:
Board of Education member Long Pham and Trannie husband Joe Dovinh. A couple of losers, Heckle and Jeckle. They both jumped into the Allan Mansoor – Phu Nguyen race in 2010, and both lost badly in the primaries, Long as a Republican and Joe as a “Democrat.” And then, even though they’d both told me they were mainly anti-Mansoor, they spent the remaining five months doing Mansoor’s dirty work on Vietnamese radio and TV, endlessly repeating the absurd lie that Phu is a “Communist.” (As usual, always thinking us round-eyed devils will never hear about it.) Neither has much base, money, or charisma. Theoretically, the district’s 31.6% Democrats should come out for Joe, but typically he’s playing DOWN his Party affiliation (much like Tom Daly is) not mentioning it on his website or any of his press releases or event invitations. I think this is a stupid waste of his one possible advantage in the race, and also confirms the longtime suspicion that he’s a squishy DINO.
So, the race would now seem to be Matt Harper’s to lose; Matt Harper, groomed by Supervisor Janet Nguyen and backed by nearly the entire OC GOP establishment; the budding career politician Matthew Harper, who has gone in just over a year from being Janet’s Deputy Chief of Staff [h/t bushala] to Huntington Beach Councilman and OC Public Affairs Manager and is now fixing to continue his relentless ascent, infuriating many grassroots Republicans who’d expected him to hang on in HB and keep fighting the good fight against public employees for at LEAST one full term!
In fact, I hereby make a very half-hearted and ambivalent endorsement of Mr. Harper. There’s really not much he can do in Sacramento besides wave around a rubber sword like Allan Mansoor and Don Wagner do, and the flip side is we progressives and environmentalists in Huntington Beach will be able to replace him with a better councilperson, someone in the mold of Joe Shaw and Connie Boardman.
But soft, what twist through yonder window breaks?
It is Los Alamitos off to the west, the much-more-than-One-Horse Town that gave us racist Mayor Dean Grose and his Obama Watermelon Garden, and the twist is a NEW white hope, Republican Los Alamitos Councilman Troy Edgar, who has just downgraded his ambitions from a hopeless Congressional race to a real chance in this Assembly race, with his Ed Royce endorsement and serious boatloads of money.
$300,000 so far, Troy Edgar brings to this race – over ten times what the very lackadaisical fundraiser Harper has netted thus far. On the other hand Pedroza’s right that Los Alamitos is a very small base, all the Huntington Beach voters know who Harper is, and Ed Royce may as well be Santa Claus as far as most Surf City denizens know.
Here is Scott Lay’s analysis, but I know some things he doesn’t know, and I’ve told you most of them.
So maybe it’ll be a race after all – between the two white Republican councilmen! But… sorry, it’s not YOUR time yet, Vietnamese-Americans. Or, that’s what the OC Republican Party says!