The Agenda

Bao Nguyen announces Congressional run

Bao Nguyen, openly-gay Mayor of Garden Grove, California, has announced he is running for U.S. Congress.
Nguyen, who came out publically in July, is running in the 46th Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who is running for the Senate seat held by Sen. Barbara Boxer.
“I’m excited to announce that I will be running for Congress in the place I have always called home,” said Nguyen in his candidacy announcement. “I can’t wait to take my passion, and the passions of so many others around me, to bring reform to Washington, D.C.”
Nguyen could be the first openly-gay immigrant to serve in Congress. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came to the U.S. when he was three months old, and earned his citizenship when he was 12 years old.
If Nguyen wins the seat, he will join the six other U.S. representatives and one U.S. senator who are openly LGBTQ. These are Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Cicilline, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Tammy Baldwin. He could join Rep. Takano as the second openly-LGBTQ Californian in the U.S. Congress, and as the only openly-LGBTQ people of color in the U.S. Congress.
Other non-incumbent LGBTQ candidates for Congress include Brian Sims of Pennsylvania, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Matt Heinz of Arizona and Bill Phillips of Florida. More openly LGBTQ Congressional candidates are expected to announce in the coming weeks.
Nguyen is running on a platform of immigration reform and education. He supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and supports lowering college tuition rates. He also supports LGBTQ equality, women’s rights and income equality.
As Mayor, Nguyen was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Orange County Fair Board of Directors, California 32nd District Agricultural Association. He has also served as a Commissioner of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County.
Before serving as Mayor of Garden Grove, Nguyen served as a trustee of the Garden Grove United School District Board of Education. Prior to that he was a school teacher in the Garden Grove school system, the same schools he attended. While attending the University of California, Irvine, Nguyen interned for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He also has a Master’s degree from Naropa University.