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Yorba Linda Recall Recap: 17% Margin Against Recall, Rikel Loses Replacement Race, Palmer Shows Weakness for November

Posted by Chris Nguyen on October 8, 2014

With all precincts reporting and 11,374 ballots counted of the estimated 12,500 ballots cast, the Yorba Linda recall of October 7, 2014, is clearly over – ironically on the 11th anniversary of the day that Governor Gray Davis was recalled on October 7, 2003.  Republican Yorba Linda Councilmen Craig Young and Tom Lindsey have handily defeated their recalls 59%-41%, becoming the first Orange County officeholders to defeat a recall at the ballot box since Mission Viejo Councilman Robert Curtis beat back a recall on February 27, 1990 (and Mission Viejo was incorporated in 1988).  Even if all ~1,100 outstanding ballots were cast in favor of the recall (which is impossible), Young and Lindsey are already beating their recalls by 2,000 ballots as it is.  It was a resounding victory against the first recall election in Yorba Linda’s 47-year history.

Recall proponents in the group Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation (YLRRR) under the efforts of recall candidate Nancy Rikel submitted 9,000 signatures to qualify the recall, but could barely get half that number of people to vote in favor of the recall.

As the numbers were counted through the course of the night, the numbers continued to grow stronger against the recall and against both YLRRR-backed candidates, showing poll voters even more strongly against the recall and the YLRRR-backed candidates than early absentee voters.  As the campaigns for and against the recall wore on, the more the voters turned against the recall and its supporters.

Shall Thomas H. Lindsey be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member?
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 4,684 41.3%
No 6,648 58.7%
Shall Craig Young be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member?
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
Yes 4,691 41.5%
No 6,601 58.5%

To add insult to injury for Rikel, early absentee voters had her leading in the race to replace Young 53%-47%.  When all poll voters were accounted for, she was losing to anti-recall candidate J. Minton Brown, Jr., a complete political unknown until this recall election.  As the campaign wore on, more and more Yorba Linda voters turned on Rikel.

Candidates to succeed Craig Young if he is recalled.
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
J. MINTON BROWN JR. 4,412 50.1%
NANCY RIKEL 4,400 49.9%

The one bright spot for YLRRR and the only minor dark cloud for anti-recall forces was in the election for the replacement candidate if Lindsey were recalled.  YLRRR-backed Jeff Decker handily beat anti-recall Matt Palmer.  While neither Brown nor Rikel is on the November ballot, both Decker and Palmer are running for Council seats in November.  Lindsey is also running for re-election in November; if the recall had succeeded, Lindsey would have only missed out on the final weeks of his current term, which expires in November.

With Palmer unable to capitalize on the anti-recall wave in October against Decker, this does not bode well for him in November when he won’t even have the coattails against the recall available to him.  YLRRR will likely continue to support Decker, but those who are anti-YLRRR will have to unite behind a different candidate with a better chance of beating Decker.

Candidates to succeed Thomas H. Lindsey if he is recalled.
Completed Precincts: 22 of 22
Vote Count Percentage
JEFFREY N. DECKER 4,574 52.3%
MATT PALMER 4,167 47.7%

While the percentages seem to show Rikel and Decker outperforming the recall, that’s not true when you look at the actual votes cast.  More people voted for either recall than voted for Rikel or Decker.  The numbers bare out one clear conclusion when looking at the anti-recall votes, a significant number of Yorba Lindans voted “No” on the Recall and refused to vote for any of the replacement candidates.  Clearly, voters heeded the “No on the Recall” campaign’s clear message (avoiding the infamous and schizophrenic message of “No on the Recall, Yes on Bustamante” that confused anti-recall Democrats 11 years ago).

2 Responses to “Yorba Linda Recall Recap: 17% Margin Against Recall, Rikel Loses Replacement Race, Palmer Shows Weakness for November”

  1. Jan said

    There is only about a 400 vote difference between Palmer and Decker. The anti YLRRR movement is growing in Yorba Linda with the defeat of the recall and the tremendous debt the city will pay for their political games. The backlash in this upcoming election, no on any YLRRR candidate is a strong possibility. One can only hope.

    • Dennis said

      Indeed. Even Mark Schwing is turning an twisting trying to figure out how he can hide from YLRRR. Careful who you hitch your wagon to Mr. Schwing. There is another player in town now.

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