Election 2020: Incumbent Tyler Diep faces fellow Republican and 2 Democrats in 72nd Assembly District primary

Former state Sen. Janet Nguyen and incumbent Tyler Diep, a fellow Republican, are the highest-profile candidates in the March 3 primary election for Diep's 72nd Assembly District seat.
(File Photos)

The March 3 primary election for California’s 72nd Assembly District seat features four candidates, including incumbent Tyler Diep, fellow Republican Janet Nguyen and Democrats Diedre Nguyen and Bijan Mohseni.

The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to November’s general election.

The 72nd District includes Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Westminster, portions of Huntington Beach, Garden Grove and Santa Ana, and the unincorporated areas Midway City and Rossmoor.

The candidates are:

Tyler Diep

Party: Republican
Currently: Assemblyman, 72nd District
Age: 37
Campaign fundraising: $698,788 (Jan. 1, 2019, to Feb. 18, 2020)
Endorsements include: Orange County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Andrew Do and Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Huntington Beach City Council members Patrick Brenden and Barbara Delgleize, Fountain Valley Councilmen Patrick Harper and Steve Nagel, California Assn. of Highway Patrolmen, California Correctional Peace Officers Assn., California Professional Firefighters, Peace Officers Research Assn. of California and Orange County Professional Firefighters, among 40 endorsements

Diep won his first two-year term in the Assembly in 2018. He has served as a member of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, where he worked with Orange County law enforcement agencies to test emergency response technologies. Diep immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1991 and was elected to the Westminster City Council in 2008 and 2014. He first entered politics as director of the Midway City Sanitation District at age 23.

Janet Nguyen

Party: Republican
Currently: Small-business owner
Age: 43
Campaign fundraising: $266,452 (Jan. 1, 2019, to Feb. 18, 2020)
Endorsements include: Former Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer, Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates, Huntington Beach Councilman Erik Peterson, former Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Family Action PAC and Orange County Congress of Republicans, among 13 endorsements

Nguyen entered the Assembly race in December. She was elected in 2014 to represent the 34th state Senate District and lost her 2018 reelection bid to Democrat Tom Umberg. While serving in the Legislature, Nguyen was vice chairwoman of the Senate’s Health Committee and Governance and Finance Committee and a member of the Human Services and Veterans committees and was the highest-ranking female Vietnamese American elected official in the country. She previously was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Garden Grove City Council. Nguyen was born in Vietnam and her family immigrated to California in 1981. She is a resident of Fountain Valley.

Diedre Nguyen

Party: Democrat
Currently: Cancer scientist and Garden Grove City Council member
Age: 44
Campaign fundraising: $231,929 (Jan. 1, 2019, to Feb. 20, 2020)
Endorsements include: Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris; Reps. Harley Rouda, Alan Lowenthal and Lou Correa; California Controller Betty Yee; California Treasurer Fiona Ma; Huntington Beach Councilwoman Kim Carr; Democratic Party of Orange County; California Democratic Party and California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, among 79 endorsements

Nguyen has served as a member of the Garden Grove City Council since 2016 and also is a cancer scientist and laboratory supervisor at Quest Diagnostics. Born in Vietnam, she has been a resident of Garden Grove since 1995 and an organizer in the Vietnamese community.

Bijan Mohseni

Party: Democrat
Currently: Civil-rights advocate
Age: Unavailable
Campaign fundraising: $6,927 (Jan. 1, 2019, to Feb. 18, 2020)
Endorsements: LEAP Forward, a platform that grades politicians and candidates on gun safety and regulation

Mohseni is a lawyer and openly gay civil-rights advocate. The son of an immigrant father from Iran and a Latina mother, he was raised in Los Alamitos. Mohseni is a former associate of international law firm Latham & Watkins, where he represented civil-rights organizations in constitutional litigation. He also worked for U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton and Associate Justice Brian Hoffstadt of California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.