Sunday afternoon with Quang Pham and Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith and Quang Pham at her home, Sunday March 7.  Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

It’s not often that we can spend a pleasant afternoon with two candidates competing for the same Congressional seat outside a traditional political setting.

In my January interview with Katherine Smith, GOP candidate for the 47th CD, she mentioned that primary challenger Quang Pham was an inspiration to her. Katherine was impressed with his coming to America as a 10 year old Vietnam war refugee and later serving our country as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in the Gulf War.

Based on that Juice post Quang asked if I could facilitate a meeting with her to get acquainted and to share his story.

My wife and I arrived at the same time as Quang at the Smith home in Anaheim and were greeted by Katherine at their front gate where she proceeded to escort us into their cozy ranch style home.

As her husband S. Clark Smith, M.D. joined us Quang handed Katherine a signed copy of his book entitled “A Sense of Duty” which Nelson DeMille describes as “a remarkable memoir, an epic journey spanning decades, generations, cultures, war and peace.”

Note: Having purchased a copy of the book from Quang over three years ago I found it to be very informative and easy read.

The hour plus meeting was very cordial. Clarke shared stories of his experience and his medals for his service in Vietnam as a medical doctor in the third Marine Division.

Before departing we did spend a few minutes discussing the challenge for any Republican in that the 47th CD is currently occupied by Democrat Loretta Sanchez in a District that is not a Republican stronghold. As such the GOP challengers would need to win two costly elections.

It was refreshing to share the investment every candidate for elected office must be prepared to make. Funding, name recognition, endorsements, “grass roots” and several other elements to varying degrees all play a role. Quang acknowledged that Katherine was the first challenger to file.

I recently amended my prior post about Quang dropping out of the race. He corrected me to say that he was “suspending” his campaign while he reevaluates the road ahead and the impact to his family and business. As such, he still has times to activate his campaign.

This will be a very interesting GOP primary race to watch.

About Larry Gilbert