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OC Register: Westminster attorney Jimmy Pham exits congressional race to enter state Assembly race

PUBLISHED: October 13, 2023 at 11:43 a.m. | UPDATED: October 13, 2023 at 5:22 p.m.

Westminster attorney Jimmy Pham has dropped out of the race for California’s 45th congressional district, saying he’ll instead set his sights on a state Assembly race.

Pham, who was one of several candidates in the hunt to unseat Rep. Michelle Steel, R-Seal Beach, said he will enter the race for the 70th Assembly District seat currently held by Assemblymember Tri Ta, R-Westminster. Pham, who is of Vietnamese descent, declined to give further details on his plan at this time.

“While I appreciate the support I have received throughout this race from the community I love and the place where I call home, my heart lies in other service to move our communities forward with common sense ideals and a willingness to get things done,” he said in a news release. “I want to thank everyone who contributed or supported me and our campaign to bring effective and fresh leadership to Congress.”

The race for CA-45 has drawn several candidates, including Garden Grove Councilmember Kim Bernice Nguyen, Brea resident Aditya Pai, UC Irvine Law grad Cheyenne Hunt and attorney Derek Tran.

The district, which straddles Los Angeles and Orange counties, is home to Orange County’s Little Saigon, the largest Vietnamese enclave outside of Vietnam.

It is on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s target list of competitive Republican-held or open districts that the party’s campaign arm is expected to invest heavily in, and Democrats have a near 6% voter registration advantage over Republicans, according to the latest official state registration reports.

Last year, Steel defeated her Democratic challenger to win reelection by nearly 5%.

Pham, an immigration attorney who launched his congressional bid in June, is a Westminster resident who was born and raised in Orange County. He serves as vice chair for the city’s traffic commission and sits on the Vietnamese American Democratic Club board. He said in June he is committed to finding ways to redevelop older portions of the city and attract more tourists.

Pham, who considers himself a “moderate liberal,” also said Westminster needs more funding for public safety, first responders and the fire and police departments.



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