The Political Landscape:

Campbell shaking it up with hair

Representative says his wife digs his beard and needed to give himself an edge.

January 21, 2009|By Paul Anderson, Brianna Bailey and Alan Blank

It all started the morning after the election of President Barack Obama.

Let’s just say it wasn’t among Rep. John Campbell’s best days. His party took a thrashing at the hands of angry voters who pink-slipped scores of his colleagues.

Since then he’s put away his razor and has been rockin’ the rugged look.

“Hey, I’ve had facial hair for half my life,” Campbell said, chuckling as he talked about his beard to reporters in his D.C. office Monday.


“I decided I’m going to keep it for at least a year,” he added. “And my wife likes it so...”

He wasn’t done. The suddenly comedic congressman was on a roll.

“I needed to shake things up, you know, give myself an edge,” he said.

Election day might have been a disaster for his party, but at least he won by a decisive margin, Campbell said.

Not bad, considering Obama carried Campbell’s district.


Assemblyman Van Tran could have his eyes on Sen. Tom Harman’s District 35 seat in 2012.

Garden Grove Republican Tran has filed a Statement of Intention for the 35th District seat, the first step toward running for office.

“Its early, but I’ve been encouraged to run and have received a lot of support for my constituents,” Tran said.

The assemblyman noted that 2012 is going to be an interesting election cycle because of redistricting.

Harman is ineligible to seek another term in the California Senate due to term limits, but he filed papers last month to explore a run for attorney general in 2010.

Some have speculated Tran would challenge incumbent Sen. Lou Correa for his District 34 Senate seat in 2010, but he hasn’t filed a Statement of Intention or formed a campaign committee for the seat.

Tran also could have a go at U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s congressional seat in 2010. Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) has filed Statement of Intention papers to explore a run for governor.

“I’ve been encouraged, if not cajoled by supporters to run for that seat for last 10 years,” Tran said. “I will do what’s best for Orange County.”

Tran said he is encouraged by the fact that 25% of voters from his assembly district also overlap with Sanchez’s District 47.

Until recently, Van Tran was the highest-ranking Vietnamese American elected official in the United States.

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