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Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the Docket

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2012

Todd Spitzer, Deborah Pauly, Janet Nguyen, and Steve Rocco

3rd District Candidates Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly, 1st District Supervisor Janet Nguyen, and 1st District Challenger Steve Rocco

I’m not sure which supervisorial race will be more entertaining this June: Todd Spitzer vs. Deborah Pauly or Janet Nguyen vs. Steve Rocco.  The Spitzer-Pauly race in the Third District will have some great fireworks, as Spitzer and Pauly are two of Orange County’s most aggressive campaigners while the Nguyen-Rocco race in the First District will simply be entertaining by virtue of Steve Rocco.

Third Supervisorial District

Incumbent Supervisor Bill Campbell is termed out after nearly ten years on the Board of Supervisors; he was elected in a 2003 special election (indeed, this was Orange County’s first-ever Supervisorial vacancy special election, as all previous vacancies had been filled by gubernatorial appointment) to replace Todd Spitzer who had vacated the seat to enter the State Assembly.

The candidates (as expected) are:

Former Assemblyman and former Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer is running to for his old job.   Originally slated to battle former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore for the seat, DeVore moved to Texas late last year.  With DeVore out, Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly stepped into the race.  Fireworks have sparked every time these two candidates have met in debates throughout the Third District.  The mail should be fun to read.  Spitzer definitely has the cash advantage in this race, as I posted here.  For other coverage of the race, you can view the, um, rather, um slanted perspective that HBK provides.

First Supervisorial District

The candidates are:

After Kinde Durkee wiped out Democrat Assemblyman Jose Solorio and Democrat Senator Lou Correa’s warchests, Supervisor Janet Nguyen was left with a warchest that dwarfed those of Solorio and Correa combined.  Solorio and Correa would have had to spend an enormous sum to unseat Nguyen.

With the fact that most of his money was gone and that Assemblymembers don’t have a very good track record of unseating incumbent Supervisors (see Guy Houston or Audra Strickland), Solorio opted to avoid a losing battle with Nguyen.

Faced with the fact that most of his money was gone, Correa opted to wait.  He could be hoping that Nguyen will go for his Senate seat in 2014 when he’s termed out, which will free up the First Supervisorial District seat for a 2015 special election, much like Correa did when he vacated this Supervisorial seat in 2006 causing a 2007 Supervisorial special election that Nguyen won.

So now we’re left with, um, what’s the polite way to put it, um, colorful former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco.  I could also call him convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco.  Perhaps, Rocco’s previous election opponents can form a bipartisan coalition to give Nguyen advice on beating Rocco (or at least on how to keep Rocco from stealing her condiments), though I suspect the advice will be along the lines of: don’t steal mustard:

  • OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma (R), who defeated Rocco 72%-28% in November 2010
  • Former OC Public Administrator John Williams (R), who defeated Rocco 58%-11% in a four-way race in June 2010
  • Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante (R), who defeated Rocco 50%-18% in a four-way race in November 2008
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee John Hanna (D), who defeated Rocco 74%-26% in November 2006 and 71%-29% in November 2002
  • Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (D), who defeated Rocco 71%-12% in a three-way race in November 2000

(Surprisingly, Rocco did not run for Governor in the 2003 recall.)

Don’t ask OC Park Ranger Phil Martinez, though, as he’s the one who lost 54%-46% to Rocco in the OUSD race in November 2004.

Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of being part of “The Partnership” which Rocco previously claimed was the secret group ruling the United States?  Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of trying to have him killed, similar to the accusation he leveled at “The Partnership,” Chapman University President Jim Doti, and Chapman Professor Fred Smoller?

Please read the Wikipedia article on Steve Rocco for your own entertainment.

(For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

2 Responses to “Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the Docket”

  1. Don’t expect to see any debates between Rocco and Nguyen. I think Janet is smart enough to know (or she has a staff member that will text her) that she should not get involved in any public forum that is likely to let her hair trigger go off. One rant from her and it could scuttle her whole campaign. Of course, I’m not so sure the district wouldn’t be better off with Rocco. At least he can say something publicly without having it texted to him by a staff member first.

  2. [...] Comments Jeff Gallagher on Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the DocketJeff Gallagher on State Senate Races: Republican Senators Face Democrat AttorneysJeff Gallagher [...]

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