Bao Nguyen

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Bao Nguyen
Photograph of Bao Nguyen.png
17th Mayor of Garden Grove, California
In office
December 9, 2014 – December 13, 2016
Preceded byBruce Broadwater
Succeeded bySteven R. Jones
Trustee of Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education
In office
July 19, 2011 – December 2, 2014
Personal details
Born1980 (age 37–38)
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of California, Irvine
Naropa University
OccupationCommunity organizer, educator, politician

Bao Nguyen (born 1980) is an American Democratic politician from Orange County, California, and a former mayor of Garden Grove, California.[1] He also previously served as a trustee on the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education.

Early life and education[edit]

Nguyen was born in a United Nations refugee camp in Thailand to parents escaping Vietnam, and arrived in the United States when he was 3 months old.[2] He attended school within the Garden Grove Unified School District. He attended Garden Grove High School, and graduated from Pacifica High School.[3]

Nguyen graduated from UC Irvine with a bachelor's degree in political science. As an undergraduate, he interned for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Rockville, Maryland.[1][4] Nguyen also earned a master's degree in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies from Naropa University.[1]

Political career[edit]

Nguyen was appointed to the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education in 2011,[5] after a close race in 2010. He was elected as a trustee in 2012, and served a term as vice president. As a board member, he fought against the exclusion of LGBT Vietnamese from the annual Little Saigon Tết Parade.[6][7] He resigned from the Board of Trustees in 2014 due to becoming mayor.[8][9]

Nguyen defeated incumbent Bruce Broadwater by 15 votes in the 2014 election to become mayor of Garden Grove. He also became the first Vietnamese-American mayor of the city.[10] As mayor, he sought to improve government transparency and accountability, and to engage voters by making city finance records available online.[11][12][13] Nguyen was appointed by the state governor to the Orange County Fair and Event Center Board of Directors.[1][14] He resigned the position in 2015.[14]

The president of the Garden Grove Police Association, a political opponent of Nguyen, "surreptitiously recorded a conversation" in June 2015 with Nguyen, then newly elected mayor.[15] According to the OC Weekly, "during the discussion, Nguyen called [Garden Grove] City Councilman Phat Bui 'a fucking dick,' a reference to efforts by Bui's supporters to label Nguyen a communist sympathizer for not vehemently protesting Riverside's sister-city relationship with Can Tho, Vietnam". Nguyen stated the insinuation was inaccurate and that he simply "didn't think one city council should tell another what to do".[15]

In the 2016 elections Nguyen ran for congress in California's 46th district, long held by Loretta Sanchez, with former California State Senate member Lou Correa as his opponent.[16][17] In the June primary Nguyen came in second with 14.6% of the vote after Correa received 43.7%.[18][19] In the November Nguyen lost to Correa after receiving just under 30% of the vote in the general election.[20]

Nguyen's term as Garden Grove mayor ended in December 2016, and he was succeeded by council member/Mayor Pro Tem, Steven R. Jones.[21][22]

Personal life[edit]

In July 2015, Nguyen came out as gay.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mayor Bao Nguyen". City of Garden Grove. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  2. ^ Do, Anh (November 18, 2014). "Two cities in Little Saigon elect Vietnamese American mayors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  3. ^ "Meet Bao: His Story". Bao Nguyen for Congress 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  4. ^ "Voter Information for Bao Quoc Nguyen". SmartVoter. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  5. ^ Petruccelli, Justin (June 27, 2011). "Bao Nguyen Appointed to GGUSD Board". Fountain Valley Patch. Retrieved 2016-12-14.
  6. ^ Lam, Andrew (December 9, 2014). "Bao Nguyen, Rabble Rouser Transforming Politics in Little Saigon, OC". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  7. ^ Arellano, Gustavo (2013-02-06). "[UPDATED: Majority of Trustees Agree!] Bao Nguyen, Garden Grove Unified Trustee, To Ask District Not Allow Homophobic Tet Parade Organizers Use of School Bus". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  8. ^ "Garden Grove Unified School District Board Minutes, December 2, 2014" (PDF). Garden Grove Unified School District. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  9. ^ Haire, Chris (2014-12-11). "School board to appoint replacement for Bao Nguyen". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  10. ^ Ramirez, Bianca (November 18, 2014). "Garden Grove's first Vietnamese-American mayor plans to be a hands-on leader". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  11. ^ Vo, Thy (2015-05-19). "After Year of Scandal, Garden Grove Makes Transparency High Priority". Voice of OC. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  12. ^ "New Open Government Site Furthers City Transparency" (Press release). City of Garden Grove. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  13. ^ Bai, Stephany (November 18, 2015). "Bao Nguyen, First Vietnamese-American Mayor of Major U.S. City, is Running For Congress". NBC News. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  14. ^ a b Taylor, Janet (November 19, 2015). "Transcript Meeting Of The OCFEC Board of Directors 32nd District Agricultural Association" (PDF).
  15. ^ a b Moxley, R. Scott. "Garden Grove Police Union Boss Secretly Recorded Private Conversation With Mayor". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  16. ^ Wisckol, Martin (October 12, 2015). "Garden Grove mayor Bao Nguyen to announce bid for Congress". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  17. ^ Lam, Charles (2015-10-14). "In the Heart of Santa Ana, Bao Nguyen Makes His (Third) Stand". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  18. ^ "California's 46th Congressional District election, 2016". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  19. ^ Wisckol, Martin (2016-06-07). "46th Congressional District: Lou Correa advances to November". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  20. ^ Mai-Duc, Christine (November 9, 2016). "Democrat Lou Correa elected Orange County's next congressman". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  21. ^ Vo, Thy (November 9, 2016). "Garden Grove Elects First Latina to City Council". Voice of OC. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
  22. ^ "AGENDA- Garden Grove City Counci- Regular Meeting- December 13, 2016". City of Garden Grove. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  23. ^ "Bao Nguyen announces Congressional run".

External links[edit]