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Archive for August, 2022

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements for November 2022 Election Round 3

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 15, 2022

The following candidates who received the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee are up for consideration tonight by the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee:

  • Carrie Hayashida for Cypress City Council
  • Hon. Bonnie Peat for Cypress City Council
  • John Gabbard for Dana Point City Council, District 1
  • Patrick Harper for Fountain Valley School District.
  • Laurie Merrick for Garden Grove City Council, District 3
  • Dr. Susan Prichard for La Habra City Council
  • Ben Yu for Lake Forest City Council, District 2
  • Hon. Scott Voigts for Lake Forest City Council, District 3
  • Aaron Washington for San Clemente City Council
  • Meghan Willis for Huntington Beach City School District Area 2
  • Autumn McCall DiGiovanni for Huntington Beach City School District, Area 4
  • Julie Norton for Huntington Beach City School District, Area 5
  • Kristen Seaburn for Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustee, Area 7
  • Angela Williams for Orange Unified School District, Area 1
  • Madison Miner for Orange Unified School District, Area 4
  • Hon. Tim Surridge for Orange Unified School District, Area 5
  • Hon. Rick Ledesma for Orange Unified School District, Area 7
  • Richard Ingle for Placentia-Yorba Linda School District, Area 5
  • Kelly Felton for Tustin Unified School District, Area e
  • Hon. Phil Hawkins for Yorba Linda Water District
  • Hon. Brett Barbre for Yorba Linda Water District
  • Hon. Tom Lindsey for Yorba Linda Water District

These candidates are also eligible for consideration by the Central Committee but received a neutral recommendation from the Endorsements Committee:

  • Simon Moon for Irvine Mayor
  • Namquan Nguyen for Westminster City Council, District 4
  • Steve Slawson for Placentia Yorba Linda School District, Area 4
  • Hon. Brooke Jones for Yorba Linda Water District

This ballot measure position is also recommended by the Endorsements Committee for consideration by the Central Committee:

  • No on Capistrano Unified School District Bond Measure

Previously endorsed candidates are listed here.

The invocation is led by Austin Edsell, the Pledge of Allegiance by Mission Viejo Mayor Wendy Bucknun, and the roll call by OCGOP Chairman Fred Whitaker. Yorba Linda Councilman Gene Hernandez swears in several alternates. The minutes are approved.

Chairman Whitaker speaks about the events and meetings of the past month. He urges Central Committee members to recruit friends to walk precincts and phone bank. He announced a special meeting for endorsements on August 29; it will be on Zoom so as not to spend extra money on hotel meeting room rental.

Whitaker explains the situation in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Trustee Area 4. OC GOP told Steve Slawson’s team on July 18 they could wait until August, but OC GOP didn’t realize that Todd Frazier on the July 18 Endorsements Commitee agenda was for the same seat.

Whitaker also explains that the Endorsements Committee recommended Brett Barbre, incumbent Tom Lindsey, and incumbent Phil Hawkins for Yorba Linda Water District under the mistaken impression that incumbent Brooke Jones was retiring. Jones contacted OCGOP after Endorsements Committee met but before Central Committee, so all the candidates for YLWD were until the August Central Committee to allow all four to be reviewed together.

Whitaker introduces the first guest speaker, Chris Gonzales, candidate for the 46th Congressional District.

Gonzales speaks about his personal background, including his service in the United States Army and his legal career. He had considered running for the 47th Congressional District but supported Scott Baugh. He considered running for Mayor of Irvine, but he realized his passion was for federal issues. He decided to run in the 46th Congressional District, where his office is, because he feels the people of that District are the most in need, with crime, homelessness, and poverty. He speaks of his public service career of 30 years. He also speaks of volunteering for Bruce Herschensohn for US Senate in 1992 and compares his own race to Herschensohn’s. He also noted his unsuccessful run for Mayor of Irvine in 2010.

Whitaker introduces the second guest speaker, Eddy Marmolejo, California Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.

Marmolejo speaks of his group’s mission and how it supplies volunteers for precinct walking and phone banking. He speaks of the importance of conservative values for Hispanics. He speaks of affordability and financial security for Hispanics. He notes the their group is working with the Republican Party at every level: RNC, CAGOP, and OCGOP. He speaks of the importance of communication and doing so in Spanish (literature where one side is in English and the other side is in Spanish). He comments about discussing key issues over carne asada, and cites the economy, education, and health care as the top three issues.

Chairman Whitaker and Mayor Rhonda Shader recognize the Volunteer of the Month, Kerry Zhang.

Zhang is a high school intern for the Scott Baugh for Congress campaign, where he is a top volunteer, even spending his 16th birthday volunteering with the campaign. Zhang spoke of the camaraderie of the campaign and the importance of volunteerism.

At 7:47 PM, Whitaker announces the beginning of the candidate forum in Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, Trustee Area 4. He noted there would be a three minute opening statement for each candidate.

At 7:49 PM, Todd Frazier noted PYLUSD removing CRT from schools. He said COVID-19 revealed a lot about what was going on in school. His daughter quit sports because she felt it was too dangerous to wear a mask while engaging in athletics. He blasts DEI. He says they are taking the school district back from leftists. He opposes frivolous spending on teaching kids to play via DEI. He is a CPA.

At 7:52 PM, Steve Slawson has been running for a year and a half. He says this is like a small town campaign. He put his team together in March. He has a $30,000 budget and has increased it to $50,000. He has walked 1,200 houses already. He notes the incumbent, Karin Freeman, has to go. His children have been in the district for a combined 25 years. He even has the support of Freeman’s son. He volunteered in the school for 9 years. He saw a lot of things he didn’t like with Zoom school. He was on three PYLUSD committees. He was the sole Republican on those committees and fought for conservative values. He has also secured 13 slate mailers.

At 7:55, Whitaker asks for questions.

Jennifer Beall asks their top two priorities if elected.

At 7:56, Slawson says he would fire the lawyers and replace them. He would find a superintendent with CEO experience and who would follow the direction of the Board.

At 7:57, Frazier says he wants to block medical clinics on campus. He wants to retool PYLUSD administration.

At 7:58, Cynthia Thacker asks for the party registration of the Trustee Area 4.

Frazier says it’s 48% Republican and 27% Democrat and laments voter turnout.

Slawson notes the number of voters who turn out.

At 7:59 PM, Gene Hernandez asks if the candidates will step aside if the other candidate gets the endorsement.

Slawson says it is too late for that. And it should have been in March.

Frazier says he would have done so before candidate filing closed on August 12 because it is no longer possible to do so.

Brett Barbre asks about top endorsements.

Frazier notes OCGOP, CRA, OCBE, PYLUSD Trustees Shawn Youngblood and Leandra Blades, and Yorba Linda Councilman Gene Hernandez.

Slawson notes Don Wagner, Scott Voigts, Steve Vargas, and Dylan Callaway.

At 8:02, Kristin Manna asked about campaign finance.

Slawson has $23,000 cash on hand and is adding another $20,000.

Frazier has a $20,000 budget and has received donated printing for signs, banners, and T-shirts.

At 8:03, Ray Gennawey asks about cash on hand.

Frazier says $2,000.

At 8:04 PM, Chairman Whitaker says the candidate forum for PYLUSD has concluded, and a vote will take place later. He introduces the Yorba Linda Water District candidate forum.

Brett Barbre has lived in Yorba Linda since 1969, been active in the party since 1985, and was elected to the water district in 1998. He speaks of establishing the district website, the importance of groundwater, the challenges of the 2008 fire, and fire hardening of various water infrastructure. He speaks of labor issues coming up. He notes Phil Hawkins and Tom Lindsey are his running mates.

Phil Hawkins has been on the YLWD Board since 2010. His first job was for Assemblyman Wayne Grisham in 1988. His father was elected to the Assembly in 1994. Hawkins was on the LA Central Committee from 1996-2000, when he moved to Orange County. He’s lived in Yorba Linda since 2001. After the 2008 fire, he joined a YLWD citizens advisory committee. He was appointed to a vacancy on the YLWD Board in February 2010. He won elections in 2010, 2014, and 2018. Because he came in with the fire, fire hardening is one of his priorities. He is endorsed by his co-worker Tim Shaw and Congresswoman Young Kim.

Brooke Jones says he is a lifelong Republican and is in good standing. He ran in 2016 and 2018, and was the top vote-getter both times. He says Barbre gave the false information that Jones was not running and notes he finished candidate filing before Barbre. He noted prior boards raised fees by 148%. He noted he was the only Board Member to oppose a fee increase proposed by Barbre. He represents YLWD on the OC Sanitation District and the Independent Special Districts of Orange County.

Tom Lindsey was appointed to YLWD in 2021. He was a two-time Mayor of Yorba Linda. He has helped elect other Republicans to office. He calls for taxpayer protecting and state government shielding governance at YLWD. He’s voted to challenge State mandates. He’s been endorsed by OCGOP in every campaign he’s run in, including a recall election that took place just weeks before the general election. He states he feels a greater urgency to defend conservative values. He notes his 12-year-old granddaughter was asked by her pediatrician due to state law about whether she would date a boy or a girl, and she didn’t even understand.

At 8:18, Ben Yu asks if any of them will suspend their campaign if they don’t get the endorsement.

All four say they will not.

At 8:19, Kermit Marsh asks each candidate stood on the Yorba Linda recall.

Hawkins supported Craig Young and Tom Lindsey.

Jones says he was not involved.

Lindsey was a target of the recall and obviously opposed.

Barbre opposed the recall. He notes that the old recall proponents endorsed Jones for YLWD.

At 8:21 PM, Chairman Fred Whitaker asks Endorsements Committee Chair Jeff Barke to deliver the report of the Committee.

Barke thanks Whitaker and apologizes for the committee’s errors. He thanks committee members Gretchen Cox, Erik Weigand, Gene Hernandez, Ray Gennawey, Alberta Christy, and Austin Lumbard. He thanks OCGOP staff. He highlights a few specific applications.

In Newport Mesa Unified School District, Trustee Area 7, Kristen Seaburn was recommended but Barke has just learned of another Republican who intends to apply for the endorsement.

Namquan Nguyen has withdrawn his application from Westminster Council District 4.

He says Simon Moon is a wonderful person but there are multiple Republicans running and has little political experience as he is running to be Mayor of a major OC city.

He brings up Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Trustee Area 4. He says there were items that the Endorsements Committee learned about Slawson but did not specify what the items were.

The consent calendar of affirmative recommendations, less Newport Mesa Unified School District Trustee Area 7 (Kristen Seaburn), is approved by voice vote.

A motion and second for Seaburn is made and approved by voice vote.

Whitaker asks if there is a motion on Simon Moon for Irvine Mayor.

There is a motion and a second for Moon.

Baron Night speaks in favor of Moon. He says Moon has asked for the endorsement and probably won’t win. He feels endorsing is a way to get Moon involved in the party. He says Moon seems to be a good person. He says Moon can build up name ID for future elections. He points to an unnamed candidate for whom this worked.

Chairman Whitaker says this is a difficult position. He notes how party resources have to be used and if the effort has a shot at winning and whether it will help or detract other races. He notes this is the first time in 20 years that the number of Republicans running matches the number of seats available, and the vote will not be split. He says there are multiple Republicans running for Mayor but none of them have the experience to run a successful campaign to unseat the Democratic Mayor. These Mayoral candidates may draw money away from the Council candidates.

The vote for endorsing Moon fails 12-25. NO ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE.

The motion to unendorse Frazier failed 7-34. FRAZIER RETAINS ENDORSEMENT IN PYLUSD AREA 4.

Chairman Whitaker notes that the Brooke Jones endorsement request has been rendered moot since Barbre, Lindsey, and Hawkins were already endorsed for YLWD.

There are various Executive Committee reports and club reports.

The meeting adjourns at 9:06 in memory of Sharon Rogers, Joy Neugebauer, and Gwen Dyrud.

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