Orange County GOP Senator Drops Partial Recount Bid Days After Democratic Challenger Sworn In

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Supporters of the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to the California Legislature have dropped their recount bid more than a week after her successor was sworn into office, Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley said Wednesday.

Former Republican state senator Janet Nguyen’s campaign ended the partial recount in the 34th Senate District after two days.

State Sen. Janet Nguyen is seen in an undated photo posted to her campaign website.
State Sen. Janet Nguyen is seen in an undated photo posted to her campaign website.

The review of about 8,000 provisional ballots in 13 precincts where Democrat Tom Umberg did particularly well did not change any votes, Kelley said. Umberg won by 3,089 votes of about 267,000 cast in the traditionally Republican district.

The partial recount cost the Orange County Republican Party $9,400.

Umberg was sworn into the state Senate last week, helping give Democrats a 29-11 supermajority.

Nguyen’s campaign declined comment and Umberg did not respond to a request for comment on the end of the recount.

Umberg is a former state assemblyman who served as deputy drug czar under President Bill Clinton.

Nguyen represented a portion of Orange County known as Little Saigon, home to the largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. She was born in Saigon but fled with her family on a small wooden boat, eventually arriving in California in 1981.

She earned national attention when she was removed from the Senate floor nearly two years ago for refusing to stop delivering a speech that was critical of the late Tom Hayden, a former state senator who played a prominent role in the anti-Vietnam War movement.

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