It’s Derek Tran versus Michelle Steel! (Kim graciously concedes.)

It was close for a little while there, but the registrar has called it – Derek Tran will be the Democrat running against the awful Michelle Steel this fall, and it’s time for all of us (who aren’t MAGA) to unite behind Derek and get rid of probably California’s Worst Congressperson, who is not only loyal to Trump but socially regressive, mean-spirited, hell of corrupt, a HUGE shameless liar, and really really really dumb to boot.

Hats off to Kim Bernice Nguyen-Penaloza for a gracious concession, and I want to know – can Derek use her cool hashtag #strongerthansteel now? Direct off our transom:

For Immediate Release: March 23, 2024

Tran Wins Top Two Primary Finish in CA-45

Army veteran advances to face Michelle Steel in the 2024 General Election

Democratic Primary Opponent Kim Nguyen-Penaloza Endorses Tran

Garden Grove, CA — Last night, following the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ certification of the March 5 primary election results, U.S. Army veteran, consumer rights attorney, and small business owner Derek Tran, will advance to the November General Election and take on Republican Michelle Steel in the race for California’s 45th Congressional District which President Joe Biden won in 2020 by +6%. Though Tran joined the race just last October, he quickly built a strong coalition, both locally and nationally, and amassed a competitive war chest to match. Garden Grove Councilmember, Democrat Kim Nguyen-Penaloza who finished 3rd, endorsed Tran upon news of the results.

“I congratulate Derek Tran on his victory and wish him the best of luck in the general election. It is time for us to unite as Democrats to defeat the corrupt Michelle Steel.” – Councilwoman Nguyen- Penaloza

Democratic Nominee Derek Tran issued the following statement:

“I am profoundly grateful to the people of CA-45 for choosing me to take on Michelle Steel and fight for the best interests of Orange County families.

“I’d like to acknowledge my primary opponents for running strong campaigns, and I look forward to working with them as we advance toward our shared goal: removing corrupt and extreme politician Michelle Steel from office, and giving Orange County families the kind of representation and advocacy they deserve in the halls of Congress.

“If given another term, Michelle Steel will continue putting her far-right politics first, enabling the chaos and dysfunction of her party, and voting against the interests of middle-class Californians. We can’t afford her failed leadership any longer, and that’s why I’m ready to fight back.

“I want to thank my family, my friends, my campaign team, and most importantly, the people of CA-45 – for standing up to extremism and fear, and instead choosing to put the values of justice, freedom, and opportunity first. Thank you for your trust and faith in me. Now, it’s time to get to work.”


California’s 45th is a Congressional District representing portions of Orange and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California. A majority-minority district, the District has the second largest AAPI population (36.97%) of any Congressional District, and the largest Vietnamese community in the country. President Biden won the current district lines by +6 points and it has a +6 point Democratic registration advantage. It includes all or part of the Cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, Cerritos, Buena Park, Placentia, Hawaiian Gardens, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Artesia, Los Alamitos, La Palma, Brea, Lakewood, and Fullerton, as well as the unincorporated community of Rossmoor. The DCCC has listed it as a “District In Play.”

Use of Derek Tran’s military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Dept. of Defense or U.S. Army.

Derek Tran For Congress

The Orange Juice Blog Interview.

About Admin

"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.