San Jose voters will be putting the first Vietnamese-American woman into a city council in California today -- who will be named Nguyen. You're either reading a column by the Great Karnak -- or you already know that the San Jose City Council special election is between two Vietnamese-American women -- one of whom is named Linda Nguyen and the other of whom is named Madison Nguyen. They are not related.
Nguyen is a very common Vietnamese name (there's an SF-based Smiths tribute band called the Nguyens, for instance) -- but that hasn't stopped folks from getting the two candidates mixed up. Madison Nguyen, who currently serves on the San Jose school board, is running on a more progressive platform, while Linda Nguyen (a real estate attorney for her family) is running on a more pro-business one (though both are Democrats). The main issue in the election, though, has been ethics -- since the winning Nguyen will assume the seat vacated by Terry Gregory for ethics violations -- and each Nguyen has accused the other of unethical behavior.
Polls are open until 8 today; expect a lot of "who's the Nguyen-ner?" type puns on the local news tonight.Picture from KRON.com. Linda Nguyen is on the left and Madison Nguyen is on the right.