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Handicapping The Races: OC Clerk-Recorder (June 2014)

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on May 28, 2014

I am onto the last race that I am posting an analysis for (This June) and will give readers my take on the upcoming OC Clerk-Recorder race, which features the following candidates:

  • Steve Rocco – Retired Teacher
  • Monica Maddox – Local Businesswoman
  • Gary Pritchard – Governing Board Member, Capistrano Unified School District
  • Hugh Nguyen – Appointed Orange County Clerk-Recorder

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; Steve Rocco has No Party Preference, Monica Maddox is a Republican, Gary Pritchard is a Democrat and Hugh Nguyen is a Republican.

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.

Steve Rocco

Rocco is a non-factor in this race and I will list nothing but the following picture for prospective voters. This is all you need to know:

rocco

Monica Maddox

Monica Maddox is not running much of a campaign based on campaign finance data that has come in. Her only donation as of March 17th was from personal funds, totaling less than $6,000. She has no name ID because she has never been on the ballot before.

Her website as an absolute disaster with her first bullet point stating, “Monica will never vote for a tax increase.” This is an excellent campaign promise but it makes no mention of the fact that this is an executive office and does not have the ability to vote on items.

I do not think that she has much of a chance to advance to November.

Gary Pritchard

Gary Pritchard is a liberal member of the Capistrano Unified School Board and a lot of people are curious as to why he is running for this seat.

Pritchard will have some name ID due to the times he has appeared on the ballot in South OC for both CUSD and when he challenged Mimi Walters for the 33rd Senate District. However, Pritchard is not running much of a campaign and didn’t even bother to get the ballot statement.. Let’s take a look at his electoral history.

Results from 2012 (General Election):

CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 5
Completed Precincts: 31 of 31
Vote Count Percentage
GARY PRITCHARD 9,087 59.1%
WILLIAM “BILL” PERKINS 6,291 40.9%

Results from 2008 (General Election):

STATE SENATOR 33rd District
Completed Precincts: 754 of 754
Vote Count Percentage
MIMI WALTERS (REP) 219,068 58.1%
GARY PRITCHARD (DEM) 157,945 41.9%

As you can see from the election results, Pritchard is an average candidate at best, running countywide without a ballot statement is not a campaign that he will likely win. This is amplified by the fact that a more conservative electorate is expected thanks to it being a gubernatorial primary election.

Pritchard is ironically the most likely opponent to possibly push Hugh Nguyen to a November run-off.

Hugh Nguyen

Hugh Nguyen was appointed to the office almost a year ago and has done an excellent job in running the office. He has run the most comprehensive campaign of all the candidates in the race purchasing slates and signs.

He ran for the seat in 2010 and did not have the best of luck when facing Tom Daly. Here are the results from that race:

County Clerk-Recorder
Completed Precincts: 2084 of 2084
Vote Count Percentage
* TOM DALY 286,286 74.6%
HUGH NGUYEN 97,711 25.4%

Hugh Nguyen will eventually win this seat but the question is whether or not he can win it in June based on the fact that three other candidates are in the race to split the vote.

My gut feeling is that because Hugh is the only candidate with a ballot statement and the only candidate that is making a real attempt at reaching out to voter, the odds are in his favor.

Prediction Time

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

Hugh Nguyen (in June) – I think he is going to clear 50% of the vote.

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