Hieu Nguyen is no politician, but he wants to be the next O.C. Clerk-Recorder

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What were you doing when you were seven years old?  Chances are you were relishing your youth.  Not so for Hieu Nguyen.  He was rushing to the airport, with his family, trying to escape from a war-torn Vietnam.  They made it to the airport, only to see the tarmac blown up by the communist army.  They spent the night there and the next day the U.S. government airlifted them out in helicopters.  Hieu’s mother got left behind for ten years.  His uncle was tortured in prison for six years.

Hieu ended up in El Centro and eventually his aunt moved the family to Orange County.  He grew up in Santa Ana and met his wife at Saddleback High School, where he also befriended a fellow named Sal Tinajero.  Today Hieu is a candidate for the office of Orange County Clerk-Recorder.  He just might be the most qualified candidate for that office – that no one knows a thing about.

I met with Hieu today and asked him why he was running – against no less than Supervisor Chris Norby.  It turns out that Hieu knows quite a bit about the Clerk-Recorder’s office. He served as a Deputy Clerk-Recorder for the past two Clerk-Recorders, before he got a promotion to serve as Assistant Clerk to the Board of Supervisors.  He spent 12 and a half years in the Clerk-Recorder’s office.

Hieu was hired by Gary Granville and in 1997 they installed the first electronic recording system at a County office.  Granville later died and was replaced by Tom Daly.  While Granville focused on innovations, Daly focused on customer service.

Hieu says he thinks he can continue to innovate – but that as a fiscal conservative he also wants to do more to cut costs at the Clerk-Recorder’s office.  I asked him why the Clerk-Recorder doesn’t make more use of the Internet.  Hieu says he will definitely look for more ways to make his office accessible to the public.

And of course I had to ask what Hieu’s relationship is with Assemblyman Van Tran and Supervisor Janet Nguyen.  He says he admires them both.

We also spoke about the antagonism that both Van Tran and Janet Nguyen have had for Latinos.  Hieu doesn’t have a bone to pick with Latinos – in fact he married a Latina.  His father was an American GI, so his kids are quite the ethnic mix.

Finally, I asked Hieu how he planned to raise money.  He is talking to some high-powered consultants – and I am happy to report that none of the corrupt GOP consultants that we loathe so much here at the Orange Juice are involved.  Hieu is confident that he will succeed in raising money.  His first fundraiser is coming up on May 15.

You can’t help but like Hieu.  He is a dedicated and experienced county administrator.  His opponent, Norby, is simply a horrible fit for the Clerk-Recorder’s office.  And Norby is working with the downright evil John Lewis.  Sorry Chris!  I don’t support anyone associated with John Lewis.  Hieu Nguyen has my support.

In case you are wondering, Hieu is a Republican, but he does not seem to be a Talibani-type.  And, as he noted, the Clerk-Recorder’s office is not a political office.  So why not elect a guy who can do the job, instead of a recycled politician?  Makes sense to me!

Hieu’s supporters include the aforementioned Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinajero, as well as La Habra Councilman Tim Shaw and labor activist Max Madrid.  He says he will be publicizing more of his backers at his May 15 event.   His supporters include both Democrats and Republicans – and that is a good start.


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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.