Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 5, 2013
Don Wagner (R-Irvine) and Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach)
Yesterday afternoon, the Sacramento Bee posted a story about the possible removal of Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Visalia).
Conway led her caucus into the 2012 elections and into its smallest size since 1883. (In a ray of hope, while Republicans held 19 seats in 1883, the GOP gained 41 additional seats to reach 60 seats in 1885, thereby flipping a 61-19 majority for Democrats into a 60-20 majority for Republicans in two years).
While Conway’s failings and probable removal were the main thrust of the story, the more interesting information for our readership is that the two leading contenders in the story to replace Conway are both from Orange County.
Second-term Assemblyman Don Wagner of Irvine and first-term Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach were cited as the two most likely contenders.
In the last 30 years, there have been 18 Assembly Republican Leaders, but only four have been from Orange County:
- Ross Johnson (1988-1991)
- Curt Pringle (1995-1996, 1996-1997; the interruption in Pringle’s tenure as Republican Leader is because he was Speaker in 1996)
- Scott Baugh (1999-2000)
- Bill Campbell (2000-2001)
In the same time span, there have been 10 Senate Republican Leaders, and three have been from Orange County (and four have represented Orange County):
- Rob Hurtt (1995-1998)
- Ross Johnson (1998-2000)
- Dick Ackerman (2004-2008)
- Bob Huff (2012-present) – Huff is not from Orange County but represents substantial portions of OC
First elected in 2010, Wagner terms out in 2016. First elected in 2012, Allen terms out in 2024. (In both cases, I’m assuming that they are both re-elected the maximum number of terms allowed and serve those terms consecutively.)
In either case, Wagner or Allen would be the first Assembly Republican Leader from Orange County in a dozen years.
The next Assembly Republican Leader has exactly two priorities: protecting seats currently held by Republicans and winning seats occupied by Democrats. The top three seats the leader needs to protect are Jeff Gorell‘s Ventura County seat, Mike Morrell‘s San Bernardino County seat, and freshman Eric Linder‘s western Riverside County seat. Target #1 is the Antelope Valley seat held by freshman Steve Fox (D). Target #2 will be in the leader’s backyard (assuming Wagner or Allen is the next leader) with the North Orange County seat occupied by freshman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D).
Failure to preserve the existing seats 25 seats and failure to gain either of those target seats will result in the next leader going the way of Conway, and let’s not forget Conway became Republican Leader when Martin Garrick stepped down after losing a Republican seat in 2010.
Posted in 68th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District | Tagged: Bill Campbell, Connie Conway, Curt Pringle, Dick Ackerman, Don Wagner, Eric Linder, Jeff Gorell, Mike Morrell, Rob Hurtt, Ross Johnson, Scott Baugh, Sharon Quirk-Silva, Steve Fox, Travis Allen | 6 Comments »
Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 30, 2012
On Friday, the California Supreme Court ruled that this year’s elections will go with the maps created by the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. This bodes ill for Republicans statewide but could boost the strength of Republicans in Orange County. Examining the great district-by-district numbers put together by Matt Rexroad, Chandra Sharma, and the rest of the Meridian Pacific team, it appears to me that there are 11 safe Republican districts, 25 safe Democrat districts, and 4 swing districts.
To maintain the status quo, Republicans have to capture all 4 swing seats: the 5th (Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus Counties), 27th (LA & Ventura Counties), 31st (Riverside County), and 34th (Orange County). To reach a 2/3 majority to raise taxes and wreak other havoc on California, Democrats only need to capture half the swing seats. The 27th is the only one where a sitting Senator (Democrat Fran Pavley) is seeking the seat. The other three are wide open.
The 5th, 27th, and 31st will all be on the ballot this year. The 34th will be on the ballot in 2014. More than 711,000 Californians have signed the petition to put the map on the ballot this November. Whether the voters overturn the map or retain the map will likely have little effect on these four seats until at least 2016. Whoever wins the 5th, 27th, and 31st will be able to retain their seats through at least 2016, and any new map would likely have little effect on the 34th, as the shape of that district is heavily controlled by federal Voting Rights Act requirements. Furthermore, Correa keeps the seat until 2014.
No seat is closer than the 34th right here in Orange County. In the new 34th Senate District, held by termed out Democrat Lou Correa, Democrats hold a 0.6% registration advantage. (In the old 34th Senate District, where Correa beat Lynn Daucher by 1.4% in 2006 and won re-election over Lucille Kring by 31.6% in 2010, Democrats held a 12% registration advantage.) The Meridian guys have even dubbed the new 34th district “Open Republican” on their site.
Up for election in 2014, the SD-34 Republican nominee will very likely be either Supervisor Janet Nguyen or the new 72nd District Assemblyman (Tyler Diep or Matt Harper) and the Democrats’ nominee will very likely be either outgoing Assemblyman Jose Solorio or the new 69th District Assemblymember (Paco Barragan, Tom Daly, Michele Martinez, or Julio Perez). If the new Assemblymembers go for it, they’d have to risk their Assembly seats after just one term in order to run for the Senate. It would be a safe run for Nguyen and Solorio, as neither of them would be up for election in 2014. (For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Nguyen; 36% of Vietnamese people have the last name Nguyen.)
After 16 years in the hands of the Democrats, SD-34 could return to Republican control, producing the first all-Republican OC delegation to the State Senate since Rob Hurtt lost to Joe Dunn.
The new SD-34 includes:
- Santa Ana (325,000 people)
- Garden Grove (171,000 people)
- 48% of northern Huntington Beach (91,000 people)
- Westminster (90,000 people)
- 20% of Central/Eastern Anaheim (68,000 people)
- 13% of eastern Long Beach (61,000 people)
- Fountain Valley (55,000 people)
- Seal Beach (24,000 people)
- Los Alamitos (11,000 people)
- Rossmoor (10,000 people)
- 7% of southwestern Orange (10,000 people)
- Midway City (8,000 people)
Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: Janet Nguyen, Joe Dunn, Jose Solorio, Julio Perez, Lou Correa, Lucille Kring, Lynn Daucher, Matt Harper, Michele Martinez, Paco Barragan, Rob Hurtt, Tom Daly, Tyler Diep | 1 Comment »