OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Handicapping The Races: OC Assessor (June 2014)

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 27, 2014

It’s to the point where I am simply getting the trademark Chris Nguyen scowl every time I write one of my handicapping posts. Now we shall take a look at the Orange County Assessor race:

The following candidates are running for OC Assessor:

  • Claude Parrish – Taxpayer Advocate/Businessman
  • Webster Guillory – Orange County Assessor
  • Jorge O. Lopez – Consultant/Appraiser/Businessman

Voter registration heavily favors Republicans in Orange County as a whole, Republicans have 42% of registered voters, Democrats have 31% of registered voters, and No Party Preference voters count for 22% of the electorate. Even though party affiliations matter very little in these races because they do not appear on the ballot we will fill in readers on what they are; Claude Parrish is a Republican, Jorge Lopez is a Democrat, and Webster Guillory is an NPP voter.

Also, it is important to explain that this race is just like a race for Orange County Supervisor where the top two vote getters will advance to November, unless the top vote getter finishes with over 50% of the vote.

Claude Parrish

Claude Parrish is the predecessor to Michelle Steel on the State Board of Equalization and he has huge name ID. He ran for this office four years ago and came fairly close to upsetting Webster Guillory and I would argue that Parrish has a stronger ballot designation this time around.

Let’s take a look at his electoral history.

Results from 2010 (Primary Election):

Completed Precincts: 2084 of 2084
Vote Count Percentage
* WEBSTER J. GUILLORY 203,814 53.4%
CLAUDE PARRISH 177,909 46.6%

Results from 2002 (Republican Primary):

Board of Equalization
3rd District REP
Completed Precincts: 2094 of 2094
Vote Count Percentage
Claude Parrish 151,092 64.7%
Steve Petruzzo 66,705 28.5%
Emad Bakeer 15,885 6.8%

As you can see Parrish has some strong name ID over the past ten years. I will also point out that Parrish is the king of slates having bought up almost every major slate mailer that exists.

Parrish has loaned his campaign $100,000 and donated an additional $170,000  and appears willing to spend whatever is necessary to win this race. He has a almost all of the slate mailers, has the most campaign signs, and has run an excellent campaign so far.

With a low turnout election projected it bodes very well for a challenger who is running a strong campaign because the voters are more informed and will likely take the time to read about the race and the OC Register endorsement of Parrish a very valuable one.

Based on the factors above, I like his chances.

Webster Guillory

Webster Guillory is the incumbent and his been in this office for a very long time.

Guillory has very high name ID due to being on the ballot multiple times for a very long time. However, Guillory has not had to campaign for a very long time and does not appear willing to campaign very much this time. Let’s take a look at his electoral history:

Results from 2010 (June Primary):

Completed Precincts: 2084 of 2084
Vote Count Percentage
* WEBSTER J. GUILLORY 203,814 53.4%
CLAUDE PARRISH 177,909 46.6%

Results from 2006 (June Primary):

Completed Precincts: 2076 of 2076
Vote Count Percentage
MIKE LEBEAU 68935 21.2%
LARRY BALES 64728 19.9%

Results from 2002 (June Primary):

Completed Precincts: 2094 of 2094
Vote Count Percentage
Webster J. Guillory 256,214 65.8%
Larry L. Bales 133,299 34.2%

As you can see from the election results, Guillory has a track record of getting elected to this seat, but I notice that he is trending downwards in terms of the percentage of the vote that he is receiving. With turnout at a ridiculously slow pace so far this climate may not be the best for an incumbent due to a more conservative electorate likely to turnout.

Guillory has done little campaigning outside of the ballot statement and has not even filled out the paperwork that shows he is planning to spend more than $1,000. With the lack of mail and other campaign materials he appears to be relying on just his name ID to try and advance to the November run-off. With three candidates in the race it would appear that Guillory has an excellent chance to advance but not win outright due to the anti-incumbent vote being split.

Guillory has received a little bit of press due to opponent Jorge Lopez complaining about how he gathered a majority of his signatures from county employees that work within his office.

Jorge O. Lopez

Jorge O. Lopez is on the ballot but he has done no real campaigning for the seat through voter contact. Unfortunately, he did not even get a ballot statement thus making it almost impossible for voters to figure out who he is and where he stands on the issues.

Lopez will likely play the role of spoiler though because his candidacy will likely gain enough votes to send this race to a November run-off thus making it more likely that Guillory can hold onto the seat.

Prediction Time

Based on all of the above factors and analysis, I predict the winner will be

Claude Parrish & Webster Guillory- Advancing to November

One Response to “Handicapping The Races: OC Assessor (June 2014)”

  1. Greg Diamond said

    You should really be following what’s going on at my hangout, Chris:


    The DA will eventually get around to releasing the (probably brutal) results of an investigation. No need, from his (as opposed to the voters’) point of view, to have it made public before the primary.

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