Republicans Janet Nguyen and Tyler Diep appear ready for fall clash for Diep’s 72nd Assembly District seat

Former state Sen. Janet Nguyen of Fountain Valley challenged fellow Republican Tyler Diep of Westminster in Tuesday's primary election for Diep's 72nd Assembly District seat.
(File Photos)

Incumbent Tyler Diep and fellow Republican Janet Nguyen appeared on a collision course in this fall’s general election for the 72nd District seat in the California Assembly, according to results in Tuesday’s primary election.

Nguyen, of Fountain Valley, had 35.1% of the vote as of 1:05 a.m. Wednesday, with 89% of precincts reporting. Diep, of Westminster, had 26.5%. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary advance to the general election Nov. 3.

Democrat Diedre Nguyen, a Garden Grove City Council member, had 23.6% of the vote, bringing her closer to Diep than she had been earlier in the count. Civil-rights advocate Bijan Mohseni, also a Democrat, picked up 14.8%.

The Orange County registrar of voters website projects the next results update at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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.

Diep won his first two-year term in the Assembly in 2018. He has served as a member of the Public Safety Committee. Previously, he was elected to the Westminster City Council in 2008 and 2014. He first entered politics as a director of the Midway City Sanitation District at age 23.

Janet Nguyen was elected in 2014 to represent the 34th state Senate District and lost her 2018 reelection bid to Democrat Tom Umberg. She previously served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Garden Grove City Council.

During the run-up to the primary, the Republican Party of Orange County revoked its endorsement of Diep in January over objections to some of his votes and policies.

Former Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) wrote a letter criticizing Diep’s voting record and comments related to organized labor, noting that Diep was the only Republican to vote in favor of Assembly Bill 5, a California law that limits employers’ use of freelance workers.

Janet Nguyen entered the Assembly race in December after former OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh sent an email to local party leaders criticizing Diep for his voting record.

Vote percentages for 72nd Assembly District candidates (as of 1:05 a.m. Wednesday)
Tyler Diep (incumbent): 26.5%
Bijan Mohseni: 14.8%
Diedre Nguyen: 23.6%
Janet Nguyen: 35.1%

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6:46 a.m. March 4, 2020: This article was originally published at 9:11 p.m. Tuesday and has been updated with new information.