Guy Benson
Van Tran, the Vietnamese-American Republican running to unseat Loretta Sanchez in California's 47th Congressional District.  The Tran campaign tells me this is the first time the paper has ever endorsed any candidate for the US House of Representatives in 105 years of publication:

First elected to Congress in 1996, Ms. Sanchez has tried unsuccessfully to paint herself as a moderate, Blue Dog Democrat willing to break with her party on key issues. But, an analysis of her voting record tells a different story, one that backs the agenda of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership almost 100 percent of the time. She believes the role of government is to level the playing field and touts her work and the administration's work in saving government jobs, specifically, teachers' jobs. She told us "You can't cut spending enough to bring down the current debt." Just about the only time we did agree with her was her opposition to the Iraq war. She sees savings in reducing military operations.

Mr. Tran has made jobs and the economy the focal point of his campaign. He supports reducing restrictions on small business and furthering tax cuts. "As a state assemblyman I have worked to make it easier for small businesses to hire, gotten rid of regulations and fee structures. ... That is what I would do at the federal level," he told us. That's a start.

He opposes the stimulus package because he says it is full of pork and has burdened the economy. Mr. Tran says the 47th district is a perfect example of the failings of government stimulus spending because jobs promised the district have not materialized.

Mr. Tran similarly calls for the repeal of the new health care law because it will "burden small businesses with all of the mandates." He notes, though, that the health care system needs work, including access to care for patients with pre-existing conditions.

Mr. Tran does not have national political experience, but neither did Ms. Sanchez. From our freedom values perspective, Mr. Tran would be the better choice in this contest.


Quite a feather-in-the-cap for Team Tran.  Beyond the symbolism, there's a chance this endorsement could have a practical impact, too.  Every small detail matters in this race; it's as tight as it can possibly be.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography