Army veteran, small businessman and consumer attorney Derek Tran announced today he’s running for California’s 45th Congressional District in hopes of unseating Republican incumbent Michelle Steel.
That district includes parts of Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
“My parents were Vietnamese refugees who worked hard and sacrificed so that I could realize the American Dream,” said Tran in his campaign announcement. “As a proud small business owner of a neighborhood pharmacy, I see the influence of big pharmaceutical companies and the impact their price gouging has on seniors and families in our community.”
The Democrat accused Steel of siding with special interests instead of the people of her district.
He’s the latest to announce his candidacy. He joins a crowded field that already includes Democrats Kim Nguyen, Aditya Pai and Jimmy Phan.
The Huff Post reports that none of the declared candidates has raised much money for their primary election in March, but Tran is described as a strong fundraiser and donor.
The district is 37 percent Asian American, 36 percent White and 23 percent Hispanic. 17 percent of the residents are Vietnamese.
Tran is a son of refugees who escaped Vietnam after the war. He enlisted in the army at the age of 18. He sits on the board of Consumers of Attorneys of California.
“My family’s story and sacrifice resonates with a lot of people here,” he said. “My service ― my record of service ― and my work as a consumer rights advocate and attorney will also resonate with voters here,” he told HuffPost.
Steel defeated her opponent Jay Chen in 2022 after falsely labeling the Taiwanese American as a supporter of communist China. The smear seemed to be directed at Vietnamese American voters who are strongly anti-communist.
Steel received strong criticism from the Asian American community for spreading misinformation.
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