Redistricting Put Chapel and McLoughlin in Same RSCCD Seat; Alvarez Joins Slugfest
Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 2, 2012
You may have seen Emami’s Twitter-style post, so here’s a more in-depth examination of the race for Rancho Santiago Community College District Board, Trustee Area 5.
In what may be the most awesome November slugfest not involving Republicans, Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, has pulled papers to run for the RSCCD Trustee Area 5. There are already two incumbents in the seat, as the RSCCD board recently switched from a multi-member three-area at-large election system to a vote-by-area system. When they drew the lines for Area 5, they put three incumbents into Area 5, but Brian Conley chose to retire in June, leaving David Chapel and Mark McLoughlin to duke it out in November.
Now, we have a three-way slugfest with RSCCD Trustee Chapel (NPP), RSCCD Vice President McLoughlin (D), and Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez (D). City council members have typically been able to defeat sitting school board members for school board seats (for example, Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley unseated Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustee Michael Collier 55%-45% in 2010). Here, Alvarez is a sitting Councilwoman running for a single college board seat where two trustees are already in the race.
Alvarez has several advantages:
- City Councilmembers’ general ability to unseat school board members
- The pro-incumbent vote is split between Chapel and McLoughlin
- She is the sole woman
- She is the sole Latina
- She has higher name ID, due to her Council seat and her 2006 bid for Assembly (she lost the primary to Jose Solorio, who incidentally is now running for RSCCD Trustee Area 1)
- She has the largest warchest
This will be a tall order for Chapel to beat both McLaughlin and Alvarez. It will be a similarly tall order for McLaughlin to beat both Chapel and Alvarez. Of the three, Alvarez has the clearest path to the RSCCD victory in November.
For those wondering, Area 5 is:
- Fountain Valley north of Edinger Avenue
- Garden Grove south of Garden Grove Boulevard between Harbor Boulevard and Euclid Street
- Santa Ana north of 17th Street and west of Santiago Street
- Santa Ana between Euclid Street and the Santa Ana River
- Santa Ana north of Civic Center Drive between Bristol Street and Flower Street
For visual learners, it’s the yellow portion on this map: