OC Political

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

Live from OC GOP: Wagner vs. Philips and Other Endorsements

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 18, 2016


We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where endorsements for the June 2016 Primary Election in the 47th Congressional District and Superior Court Judge Office No. 3 are being considered. A very early endorsement request for the November 2016 re-election bid of Santa Ana Unified School District Trustee Cecilia Iglesias is also being considered.

Prior endorsements for the June 2016 Primary are available here.

The 69th Assembly District Republican candidate, Ofelia Velarde-Garcia, spoke about her priorities of jobs, public safety, and education.

Volunteer of the Month was Paula Prizio.


First up is the 47th Congressional District where Andy Whallon and Sanford Kahn are seeking the OC GOP endorsement in their bids to advance to the November General Election against Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

Whallon says he was the only Republican who stepped forward in 2014 to run against Lowenthal. As a first-time candidate in 2014, Whallon got 44% of the vote. He has consistently attended Central Committee meetings in both Orange and Los Angeles Counties as an ex officio member of both. He pledges to vote only for balanced budgets and is willing to donate his entire Congressional salary to charity if the budget is not balanced.

Kahn says he ran for Congress in 2012 and several times before that. He is a mechanical engineer. He says this is not a complicated age: there is choice between a set of economic-political policies that empowers individuals and a set of economic-political policies that empowers government. He wants to replace the tax code with a 15% flat tax. He does not believe education needs more funding – he believes education needs competition, and he supports vouchers.

Anthony Kuo asks the candidates where they live and for how long.

Kahn has lived in Long Beach since 1969 while Whallon has lived in Long Beach since 1985.

Baron Night asks the candidates how long they have attended Central Committee meetings.

Kahn does not believe he has ever attended an OC GOP Central Committee meeting. Whallon has regularly attended both OC GOP and LA GOP Central Committee meetings for the last two years.

Dennis White asks what philosophy drives each candidate.

Kahn points to individual empowerment while Whallon points to Atlas Shrugged.

Scott Voigts asked if they have been involved in any other candidates’ campaigns.

Neither has.

John Warner asks how much each has raised and who has endorsed them.

Kahn has tried to avoid FEC filing by not raising more than $5000. He is self-funding. He only has the endorsement of voters.

Whallon has raised $20000 and is also self-funding. Scott Voigts, Mike Munzing, David Shawver, and Al Ethans have endorsed him.

Jeff Lalloway asks why each should be endorsed over the other.

Kahn says he has an economic background and supports vouchers, a flat tax, Congressional term limits, and the elimination of the estate tax.

Whallon is working to bring new voters into the Republican Party.

Alexandria Coronado states redistricting took many cities out of Ed Royce’s seat and into the seat now held by Alan Lowenthal.

Mike Munzing asks about the repeal of Obamacare.

Whallon states instant repeal does not work because millions of Americans are enrolled in it. He wants to replace Obamacare instead.

Kahn says people should be able to buy health insurance across state lines. He believes cafeteria style plans are preferable. He suggests a healthcare voucher.

Tim Whitacre asks if they’ll support the other if they lose the primary.

Each agreed to endorse the other if he loses the primary.

Thomas Gordon moves and Baron Night seconds endorsing Whallon.

No one wishes to speak for or against the motion.

Whallon wins the endorsement by voice vote with only a smattering of verbal opposition.


Without discussion, Anthony Kuo moves and Steve Sarkis seconds the endorsement of Cecilia Iglesias for Santa Ana Unified School District.

With no debate, Iglesias is endorsed by unanimous voice vote.


Megan Wagner says she is the kinder, gentler Wagner. She notes her education and her 20+ years as an attorney in private practice representing businesses. She has been a prosecutor since 2011. She says Orange County needs judges who deal with criminals in a serious way and who understand business. She is endorsed by the Lincoln Club unanimously, the CRA, every County-level elected official, and 50 Superior Court judges. She notes the Democrat running, Andrew Stein, is a resident of Los Angeles.

Philips is a Marine veteran. He earned his law degree while an active duty Marine. He opened a private practice while a reservist JAG. He notes his endorsements from numerous average voters. Philips points to an OC Weekly article accusing Wagner of prosecutorial misconduct via improperly obtaining records.

Steve Sarkis asks Wagner to respond to Philips’s accusation.

Wagner says she is not allowed to comment on the specifics of an ongoing case. She says defendants frequently make accusations about prosecutors. She points to the OC Weekly’s political agenda.

Kermit Marsh speaks of the great expense of a Countywide race for Judge. He asks how much each candidate has raised.

Philips does not want campaign contributions because he will campaign via social media.

Wagner locked up slates a year ago and has received contributions from a number of candidates. She suggests Philips look up Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

Scott Voigts asks about each candidate’s endorsements.

Philips says he wants the endorsements of only the voters.

Wagner lists numerous organizations and elected officials.

Baron Night asks Philips about his military experience and legal experience.

He reiterates his military service and speaks of trying numerous civil trials.

Thomas Gordon asks about Wagner’s endorsements from Joe Dunn, Tom Daly, and Claudia Alvarez.

Wagner says Judge is a nonpartisan position.

Mike Glenn asks about the rule on Democrat endorsements.

Parliamentarian Kermit Marsh notes the rule applies to Republicans endorsing Democrats, not Democrats endorsing Republicans.

Philips’s closing statement notes that he is often asked about his stances but is required to set aside his opinions to apply the law as it is, not as he thinks it should be.

Wagner keeps it short noting the long evening. She notes her endorsement by 50 Superior Court Judges.

Scott Voigts moves and Gene Hernandez seconds an endorsement for Megan Wagner for Superior Court Judge Office No. 3.

Fred Whitaker speaks in favor of the motion. He points to the importance of conservative members of the judiciary, pointing to Justice Antonin Scalia. He says it is critically important to vote for judges who are conservative and exercise judicial restraint. He warns of the threat of a liberal Democrat trial attorney, Andrew Stein.

Thomas Gordon speaks against the motion. He would like the application sent to Endorsements Committee instead due to the pending investigation.

With only two “No” votes, Wagner is endorsed by voice vote.

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