Moreno Running for Supervisor?
Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 30, 2013
Well, it’s that time again. Campaign finance reports are due tomorrow. Those finance reports will allow us to reflect back on 2012 and get a glimpse into 2014.
Most candidates will wait until tomorrow to file their reports, but some have already filed.
The campaign finance reports show minor movement in the 2014 race to succeed termed-out Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) in the Second District.
Back on September 7, while everyone else was distracted by the 2012 elections, Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno (D-Huntington Beach) filed paperwork to form his committee: Jim Moreno for Orange County Supervisor 2nd District – 2014. The domain name for his campaign web site (still under construction), Jim4Supervisor.com, was registered on September 19.
Conveniently for blog readers, Moreno filed his campaign finance report yesterday for the period ending December 31, and it shows the only contributions his supervisorial campaign has ever received are three loans from himself and his wife totaling $2,100. He’s spent $972 on “business cards, stationary, and envelopes” according to the report.
It’s unclear what the rationale is on the timing of opening his committee. If he is running for Supervisor, it would have made more sense to wait until January 1 to open the committee, so he’d have the first six months of 2013 to raise money before the next report is due. If he isn’t running for Supervisor, he doesn’t need a place to temporarily hold money, as the Coast Community College District has neither contribution limits nor term limits, so Moreno could raise unlimited sums into his community college board account for any year and then slide the money into any other campaign he wants. I’m not certain why he opened a committee that only possesses $2,100 of his and his wife’s money.
Moreno’s college board account has $1,415 cash on hand. On December 30, he did receive a $250 contribution from Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), a former Assemblyman and likely 2014 Senate candidate for SD-34.
State Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel (R-Surfside) has already announced her bid for the Second District seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Steel has a clear advantage over Moreno due to a number of factors:
- Money: As of June 30, Steel had more than $222,000 cash on hand in her BOE account, much of which she could use in a supervisorial campaign. (She has not yet filed her campaign finance reports covering the July 1-December 31 period, which are not due until tomorrow.) Moreno has $3,515 cash on hand even combining his supervisorial and college board accounts.
- Name ID: Voters across the entire Second Supervisorial District have voted for Steel as that entire district is inside her Board of Equalization district. Voters in four of the ten cities in the Second Supervisorial District are not part of the Coast Community College District and have never seen Moreno on the ballot.
- Party Affiliation: Although it is a nonpartisan seat, Republicans hold a 14% registration advantage over the Democrats in the Second Supervisorial District. Republicans have had uninterrupted control of the seat for at least half a century.
Conventional wisdom holds that Steel’s toughest opponent will be another Republican, not a Democrat. Even among Democrats, Moreno’s not their strongest candidate.