COSTA MESA — Apparently bouyed by his hardline stances against illegal immigration,
A former Orange County Sheriff's deputy, Mansoor, a Republican, led businessman Phu Nguyen, a Democrat, by a wide margin late Tuesday evening.
Mansoor, 45, has served on the City Council since 2002. His potential ascendency to Assembly could give Costa Mesa residents a law-and-order voice in the minority party.
"I think he would be a very reliable, conservative Republican vote," said state Sen.
Vacating the seat is Republican Van Tran, who was in a dead heat in his race against incumbent Rep.
The 68th Assembly District includes Costa Mesa, Westminster, Garden Grove and some surrounding areas.
Nguyen, a 33-year-old businessman from Little Saigon, sought to capitalize on high Vietnamese turnout for Tran's race. Vietnamese account for about 20% of voters in the Assembly district, and they may have voted for Nguyen because he's more aligned with their issues, according to veteran political consultant Allan Hoffenblum.
During the campaign Nguyen criticized Mansoor's immigration policies as divisive. With promotional visits to mosques, temples and other multicultural venues, Nguyen sought to portray himself as a unifier.
The most controversial issue Mansoor addressed during his tenure was illegal immigration. Long before
Nguyen's family came from Vietnam and has an inspiring rags-to-riches story.
While Nguyen grew up in a modest house in the 68th District, he had moved into high-end gated
The district attorney's office, at the time of the election, had not yet determined if it would open an investigation, according to spokeswoman Farrah Emami.
Mansoor apparently didn't need that investigation to overcome Nguyen. He had reliably Republican district — in the 2008 general election 42% of registered voters were Republican and 33% Democratic.