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OC’s Top 10 Races to Watch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 5, 2018

Here are OC’s top 10 races to watch tonight when the polls close at 8:00 PM, and the Registrar of Voters begins reporting results at 8:05 PM, 9:30 PM, and then every half-hour after that until 1:00 AM.

The Big Three: Congress

  1. 39th Congressional District
    This could well be the most chaotic seat in the country.  There are 17 candidates running, and only two can advance to November to succeed retiring Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).  A whopping $14 million has been spent in this primary, as this is one of the most competitive seats in the country, but it is entirely possible that two Republicans could make the top two, thereby turning a highly competitive seat into a guaranteed Republican win in November.  Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are lottery-winning philanthropist Gil Cisneros (D-Yorba Linda), former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), former State Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton), Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), and businessman Andy Thorburn (R-Villa Park).

    Of the $14 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent over $10.6 million while there has been nearly $3.4 million in Independent Expenditure (IE) spending from PACs and other outside groups. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) alone spent nearly $2.1 million, with more than $829,000 against Huff, nearly $679,000 against Nelson, and over $560,000 supporting Cisneros.

  2. 49th Congressional District
    The 49th District was the closest Congressional race in the country in 2016, when Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) won re-election over Retired Colonel Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside) by 0.5%.  A staggering $15.5 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding never-before-elected candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  The front-runners (in alphabetical order) are 2016 Candidate Doug Applegate (D-Oceanside), Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), Qualcomm Heiress Sara Jacobs (D-Encinitas), Real Estate Investor Paul Kerr (D-Rancho Santa Fe), and Attorney Mike Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).

    Of the $15.5 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $9.6 million while there has been over $5.9 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  Women Vote! has spent nearly $2.3 million alone to support Jacobs.  The DCCC spent nearly $1.7 million against Chavez.

  3. 48th Congressional District
    The 48th Congressional District race was upended when former Assembly Republican Leader and OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) jumped in the race against Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).  A relative piker compared to the 39th and 49th, “only” $9.6 million has been spent in this seat.  While it is possible for two Republicans to make the top two, it is more likely that this one will be a traditional Republican vs. Democrat race in November.  As in the 39th and 49th, Democrats have spent millions trying to make sure one of their self-funding first-time candidates makes the top two while Republicans have spent millions trying to make sure two of their elected officials take both of the top two slots.  Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) is widely expected to win the plurality of the vote.  The three candidates vying for the second slot (in alphabetical order) are Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), Scientist Hans Hans Keirstead (D-Laguna Beach), and Businessman Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach).

    Of the $9.6 million spent in this seat, the candidates’ campaigns spent nearly $5.3 million while there has been nearly $4.3 million in IE spending from PACs and other outside groups.  The DCCC alone spent over $1.8 million, with nearly $1.7 million against Baugh and $137,000 to promote Republican Businessman John Gabbard (R) in an attempt to siphon votes from Baugh.  Gabbard has condemned the DCCC’s spending.

Would-Normally-Be-The Big Three if Congress Hadn’t Descended Into Chaos

  1. 29th Senate District Recall
    Will Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) survive the recall?  What would ordinarily be one of the biggest races in the state has seen both pro-recall and anti-recall forces battling just to get voter attention, as the millions spent in SD-29 have been swamped by the mega-spending 39th Congressional District, with more than 2/3 of all SD-29 voters residing in CD-39.
  2. 72nd Assembly District
    As the sole Democrat in the race FreeConferenceCall.com President Josh Lowenthal (D-Huntington Beach) is expected to win the plurality in his race against 4 Republicans to replace Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) who is leaving this seat to run for Governor.  The two leading Republicans are Councilman Tyler Diep (R-Westminster) and former OC GOP Executive Director/current Pepsico Government Affairs Director Greg Haskin (R-Fountain Valley).  Diep and Haskin spent over $650,000 combined, a healthy sum for an Assembly race.  Unfortunately for them, they were swamped by the mega-spending 48th Congressional District, with more than 62% of all AD-72 voters residing in CD-48.
  3. 4th Supervisorial District
    In the race to succeed termed out Supervisor Shawn Nelson, the candidates in this race got drowned out by the 39th Congressional District and the 29th Senate District Recall Election.  Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Placentia) and Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) are the endorsed candidates of their respective political parties.  However, Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) and Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) came roaring in after their parties endorsed with spending to match Kerr and Shaw and outsized name ID from years in elected office in the two largest cities in the district.  Unfortunately for them all, they were swamped by both the mega-spending 39th Congressional District and the high-spending 29th Senate District recall, with nearly 62% of all BOS-4 voters residing in CD-39 and almost 85% of BOS-4 voters residing in SD-29.

The Rest of the Top 10

  1. 32nd Senate District
    This is the race that OC forgot, as only Buena Park lies in the LA County-based 32nd Senate District.  This is the seat vacated by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) who resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.  Mendoza filed to run for his old seat in hopes voters will send him back to the Senate.  The anti-Mendoza vote among just Democrats is split between two Mayors, two City Councilmembers, a Community College Board Member, and a former Assemblyman.  There are exactly two Republicans running.  This chaos could well send Mendoza back into the top two – and possibly against a Republican.  It is unclear what would happen if the top two were Mendoza and a Republican in this strongly Democratic district.  Also, voters have to cast two votes for this seat: one for the special primary election today for the six months remaining on Mendoza’s term when he resigned and one for the regular primary election today for the four years of the 2018-2022 term on the seat.
  2. District Attorney
    When a County Supervisor with high Countywide name ID and a campaign warchest far exceeding $1 million decides to challenge the sitting District Attorney’s re-election bid, how could this not be a major race? Virtually everyone expects this to go to a run-off, including the candidates themselves judging by their campaign spending.   While Supervisor Todd Spitzer (R-Orange) spend several hundred thousand dollars on mail and slates, he appears to be holding $900,000 back for a run-off.  District Attorney Tony Rackauckas (R-San Clemente) seemed to have only bought slates and digital advertising for the primary.
  3. Sheriff
    Undersheriff Don Barnes (R-Lake Forest) is the front-runner to succeed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.  The question is whether Retired Sergeant/Mayor Dave Harrington (R-Aliso Viejo) and Detective/Senior Investigator Duke Nguyen (D-Tustin) can pull enough of the vote to prevent Barnes from getting to 50%.  Harrington has relied heavily on slates while Nguyen has done direct mail to Democrats.
  4. County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
    For eight straight elections, the incumbent was elected time and time again, even defeating future Assemblymen Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) and Don Wagner (R-Irvine) for this seat.  Yet, now for the second election in a row, the voters will be electing a new trustee. In 2014, Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel) knocked off 32-year Incumbent Liz Parker (R-Costa Mesa), who was running for a ninth term.  Parker had been elected to the County Board of Education the same month she graduated from UCLA at the age of 22.  After a single 4-year term, Lindholm chose not to run for re-election.  Chapman University Dean Lisa Sparks (R-Newport Beach) is the front-runner to succeed Lindholm.

Snoozer in June, Battle in November

  • 45th Congressional District
    Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is the sole Republican in the race.  The question is which Democrat will face off against Walters?  This is the safest of the four OC Congressional seats held by a Republican.
  • 34th Senate District
    Former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) is almost certainly the Democrats’ standard-bearer against Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).  Nguyen beat Umberg 11 years ago in the race for County Supervisor when front-running Umberg fell to third behind two candidates named Nguyen.  As a non-incumbent, Nguyen handily won the Senate seat in 2014 against former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana), who was a stronger candidate than Umberg.
  • 65th Assembly District
    Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and former County Board of Education Trustee Alexandria Coronado (R-Cypress) are the only candidates on the ballot in June, so they will both advance to November due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Near-Snoozers

  • 55th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if a second Republican gets into the top two with Assemblyman Phillip Chen (R-Diamond Bar) since there’s two Democrats running who could split the vote, allowing a Republican to slip into second behind Chen.
  • 74th Assembly District
    This one should be a snoozer, but it gets awkward if “Republican” Katherine Daigle (R-Irvine) gets into the top two with Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) since there’s three Democrats running who could split the vote.
  • Assessor
    With two opponents, there’s a tiny chance Assessor Claude Parrish (R-Tustin) could be forced into a run-off, but it is more likely he breaks 60%.
  • County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
    While there has been immense spending by charter schools for Mari Barke (R-Los Alamitos), there has also been immense spending by unions for David Boyd (D-Costa Mesa).  However, while this spending is immense in a school board race, it’s not much compared to the spending in a Congressional race or an Assembly race.  Most of this trustee area was drowned out by the 48th Congressional District and the 72nd Assembly District.  Additionally, there’s a third candidate, Matt Nguyen (D-Westminster), who will split the anti-incumbent vote, but unlike most other seats on the June ballot, there’s no run-off for County Board of Education.

Total Snoozer That Could Have Been Interesting

  • 73rd Assembly District
    For some reason, Mayor Ed Sachs (R-Mission Viejo) raised and spent literally nothing in his bid to unseat Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point).  Sachs’s campaign finance reports show he didn’t raise or spend a single dollar after paying to get on the ballot.  Had Sachs actually spent money, the 73rd could have been interesting.

Total Snoozers

  • Judge Ted Howard, Supervisor Michelle Steel (R-Sunset Beach), Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery (R-Orange), and Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen (R-Santa Ana) will cruise to victory in June, probably each with more than 70% of the vote. 38th District Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood), 46th District Congressman Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), 47th District Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), 36th District Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), and 68th District Assemblyman Steven Choi (R-Irvine) will cruise to victory in November; they can’t end their elections in June due to the Top Two rule for Legislative and Congressional races.

Virtually Unopposed

  • 69th District Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) has one opponent: Libertarian write-in candidate Autumn Browne (L-Santa Ana).  She will come in second and appear on the ballot in November.

Unopposed

  • Superintendent Al Mijares (R-Tustin), Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (R-Dana Point), and Treasurer Shari Freidenrich (R-Huntington Beach) are literally unopposed.  As long as at least one person in all of Orange County (or the 5th Supervisorial District) remembers to vote for each of them, they’ll all be re-elected.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Choi and Woolery are clients of Western American, the firm that owns this blog.  For his City Council campaign, Sachs retained Custom Campaigns, the defunct firm that previously owned this blog, as did Lindholm for her County Board of Education race.  The writer of this article is Spitzer’s alternate on the Republican Central Committee and is the Legislative Manager in Woolery’s office.  Finally, the writer of this article is [as far as he knows] not related to Janet Nguyen, Matt Nguyen, or Hugh Nguyen.  Nguyen is the most common Vietnamese last name, held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 29th Senate District, 2nd Supervisorial District, 32nd Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 38th Congressional District, 39th Congressional District, 45th Congressional District, 46th Congressional District, 47th Congressional District, 48th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Independent Expenditures, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Leave a Comment »

Party Affiliations of Everyone Running for Everything on June 5

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 31, 2018

In prior elections, some of the most popular articles on OC Political in the run-up to elections are the ones identifying the partisan affiliations of candidates on the ballot.  So back by popular demand, OC Political presents the political party affiliations of everyone running for everything on the June 5, 2018 Primary Election ballot in Orange County.

(Okay, this list is not everyone running for literally everything; it is everyone running for offices whose party affiliations are not shown on the ballot.  If you want to know the party affiliation of candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senate, House of Representatives, State Legislature, etc., just look on your ballot.)

Superior Court Judge, Office No. 13

  • Franklin Dunn – Republican
  • Theodore R. “Ted” Howard – Republican

Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Steven Ireland – Democrat
  • Lily (Espinoza) Ploski – No Party Preference
  • Tony K. Thurmond – Democrat
  • Marshall Tuck – Democrat

County Superintendent of Schools

  • Al Mijares – Republican

County Board of Education, Area 2

  • Mari Barke – Republican
  • David L. Boyd – Democrat
  • Matt Nguyen – Democrat

County Board of Education, Area 5

  • Kimberly Clark – No Party Preference
  • Mike Dalati – Democrat
  • Dan Draitser – American Independent
  • Mary Navarro – Democrat
  • Lisa Sparks – Republican

Supervisor, 2nd District

  • Michael Mahony – Libertarian
  • Brendon Perkins – Democrat
  • Michelle Steel – Republican

Supervisor, 4th District

  • Cynthia Aguirre – Democrat
  • Doug Chaffee – Democrat
  • Rose Espinoza – Democrat
  • Joe Kerr – Democrat
  • Lucille Kring – Republican
  • Tim Shaw – Republican

Supervisor, 5th District

  • Lisa Bartlett – Republican

Assessor

  • Nathaniel Fernandez Epstein – Democrat
  • Claude Parrish – Republican
  • Richard B. Ramirez – Republican

Auditor-Controller

  • Toni Smart – American Independent
  • Eric H. Woolery – Republican

Clerk-Recorder

  • Hugh Nguyen – Republican
  • Steve Rocco – No Party Preference

District Attorney-Public Administrator

  • Lenore Albert-Sheridan – Democrat
  • Brett Murdock – Democrat
  • Tony Rackauckas – Republican
  • Todd Spitzer – Republican

Sheriff-Coroner

  • Don Barnes – Republican
  • David C. Harrington – Republican
  • Duke Nguyen – Democrat

Treasurer-Tax Collector

  • Shari L. Freidenrich – Republican

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange County Sheriff, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Eric Woolery to Be Sworn in as OC Auditor-Controller January 5 in Orange Circle

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on December 31, 2014

This came over the wire from Auditor-Controller-Elect Eric Woolery’s shop earlier this month…


ERIC WOOLERY BECOMES ELECTED COUNTY AUDITOR-CONTROLLER JANUARY 5
Public Invited to Morning Event at the Fountain in the Orange Circle

Orange County Auditor-Controller-elect Eric Woolery will take the oath of office at 8:30 a.m. on Monday January 5, 2015 in the Orange Circle. Woolery is Orange County’s first elected Auditor-Controller since David Sundstrom resigned more than two years ago and the county’s fourth elected Auditor-Controller since the office was established in 1959. He is only the second CSUF graduate to hold countywide elected office in Orange County.

The public may attend the ceremony officiated by Orange City Council Mayor Pro Tem Fred Whitaker. There will be a short reception at Watson’s Drug Store located just a few steps away at 116 E. Chapman Avenue.

County officials are typically sworn in at ceremonies in Santa Ana, but in a nod to his hometown Woolery chose the historic circle in Orange Town Center. “The circle is a special place for me and my family,” said Woolery, who was Orange Treasurer until he recently resigned to take his new position. “I proposed to my wife there, I’ve lived in Orange for 30 years and am raising my family in Orange so I want to begin my tenure as Auditor-Controller in this place that represents both my roots and my aspirations.

Woolery earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Cal State University Fullerton with an emphasis in accounting. After graduation, he worked at Ernst & Young, one of the country’s top “Big 4” accounting firms, until earning his California Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in 1992.

For ten years, he owned a CPA firm with two locations specializing in entrepreneurs. He has always had a strong interest in public policy and has held elected office before. From 1996 to 2000, he served as Fourth District Representative to the Orange County Board of Education. More recently, he was the treasurer of the City of Orange. In the seven years prior to his election, Eric was the Deputy Director of Administration for the Riverside County District Attorney’s office. His duties included overseeing a staff of nearly 750 and managing the department’s $100 million budget.

As the County’s Auditor-Controller, Eric will be the county’s chief accounting officer working on behalf of the taxpayers to oversee how each county department receives and spends tax dollars. Since he is an independently elected official, he reports only to the taxpayers. However, his office provides a critical role in county governance by providing both the County Supervisors and citizens with independent financial analysis in order to support sound policy decisions.

A long time Orange County resident, Eric graduated from Orange Lutheran High School. He resides in Orange with his wife Lisa and two young children.

# # #

Posted in Orange, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Moorlach Enters SD-37 Race Against Wagner

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on November 30, 2014

Supervisor John Moorlach made a brief bid for Governor in February 2013 and dropping out four months later (Jerry Brown was re-elected to that seat), announcing a bid for the 45th Congressional District in December 2013 and dropping out three months later (Mimi Walters won that seat), and then flirted with bids for the 74th Assembly District (Matt Harper won that seat) and Auditor-Controller (Eric Woolery won that seat).

Today, Jon Fleischman at FlashReport reported on Supervisor John Moorlach’s entry into the 37th Senate District race against Assemblyman Don Wagner to replace Mimi Walters, who will vacate the seat to head to Congress.  Here’s an excerpt of Fleischman’s report

Both Moorlach and Wagner are conservatives, the former being a bit more iconic because of his prediction of the County of Orange’s bankruptcy back in the 90′s.

Neither Moorlach nor Wagner are known as being prolific fundraisers — though Wagner has had his eye in this seat for some time and starts with a head start.

One big question is whether the presence of two conservative foreshadows a more moderate entry into the race.

If Moorlach can raise (or self fund) 200k or more he would be very formidable for anyone, including Wagner, to beat. But that’s a big if. Moorlach floated a bid for Congress last year and dropped it largely as a function of fundraising challenges. Although he was trying to run against the aggressive Mimi Walters, who is a strong fundraiser.

Here’s an excerpt of Moorlach’s announcement…

In the last week I have been making calls when possible, as there were OCTA and Board of Supervisors meetings and the Thanksgiving holidays.  These calls have been extremely positive and I’m putting a campaign team together for the sprint that is called a special election.

Before I officially announce, I wanted you to know first.  There is only one other announced candidate at this time.  In fact, we did lunch a month ago and he is aware that I’ve been mulling this decision over.  I still need to connect with him to let him know that I am even more strongly leaning in running for this seat.

If you’re happy to endorse or support me, that would be great news.  With your permission, I may even include your name in my official announcement, which I hope to release sometime this week.

Thank you for allowing my wife and I to serve you as a County Treasurer-Tax Collector for nearly twelve years.  Thank you for allowing us to serve in the position of a County Supervisor for eight years; where I had a ball achieving numerous significant accomplishments.  Thank you for being a friend and for being on my e-mail tree.

After I make a formal announcement, I hope to engage you in some form or fashion in achieving a successful result next spring.  Together, let’s shake it up, again.

 

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 37th Senate District, 45th Congressional District, 74th Assembly District, California, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

June 2014 Organizational Endorsements Scorecard

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on June 5, 2014

Chris Nguyen posted a humongous grid of endorsements that broke down all the major organizations and what candidates they endorsed for non-partisan offices in Orange County. You can take a look at his humongous grid of endorsements here. As a follow-up I have done the math on how the endorsed candidates fared in the Tuesday election and have given credit to an organization for endorsing a candidate that either won outright or advanced to the November election.

report_card

Here is a guide to the abbreviations: OC GOP = Republican Party of Orange County, DPOC = Democratic Party of Orange County, CRA = California Republican Assembly, HJTA = Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CWLA = California Women’s Leadership Association, OC Tax = Orange County Taxpayers Association, OCBC = Orange County Business Council, and CTA = California Teachers Association.

OC GOP DPOC OC Register Lincoln Club Atlas PAC CRA Family Action PAC HJTA CWLA OC Tax OCBC CTA OC Labor Federation Evolve Women in Leadership Planned Parenthood
%  83% 14% 76%  75% 80% 83% 83% 100% 100% 92% 50% 50% 43% 0%  50% 33%
# of Winners  10  1  13  9  8  10 5  5  7  11  2  1  3  0  1  1
# of Losers  2 6  4  3  2  2  1  0  0  1  2  1 4 2  1 2

 

Anybody that got 75% and higher can be considered an organization with a valuable endorsement but the big winners from this election cycle were the California Women’s Leadership Association (Orange County Chapter) and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association both of which managed to endorse no losers.

 

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, Democrat Central Committee, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Post Script on the Election and the CRA Slate Mailer Newspaper

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on June 4, 2014

Chris Emami reported on the CRA Slate Mailer Newspaper a few days ago (CRA) which CRA Vice President Dale Tyler and I put together with some able help from former CRA Treasurer John Fugatt.  Obviously I believe it is the best of the slate mailers newspaper (it is open only to CRA endorsed candidates).

Assuming there are no upsets with the provisional ballot count, 100% of the candidates who placed articles / ads in the mailer either won their races or advanced to the run off in November.  Congratulations to Diane Harkery, Eric Woolery, Linda Lindholm, Robert Ming, Bill Brough, Jeff Ferguson and Tony Rackauckas for your win and thank you for believing in our mailer!

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, Board of Equalization, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County District Attorney's Office, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OC’s Top 10 Primary Election Stories

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 4, 2014

Eric Woolery, Robert Hammond, Linda Lindholm, and Ken Williams

OC Board of Education Group Photo at the Custom Campaigns June 3 Election Night Party at BJ’s in Irvine:
Auditor-Controller-Elect/Orange City Treasurer/Former OCBE Trustee Eric Woolery, OCBE Trustee Robert Hammond, Laguna Niguel Mayor/OCBE Trustee-Elect Linda Lindholm, and OCBE Trustee Ken Williams.

Woolery achieved a historic margin of victory in his race for Auditor-Controller (story #6) while Lindholm knocked off Orange County’s longest-serving-in-a-single-office incumbent (story #5). 

As expected, it was a busy night in yesterday’s primary election.  Here’s a rundown of the top 10 stories:

  1. AD-74: Keith Curry and Matt Harper Advance, Emanuel Patrascu LastEmami called it, mostly.  Thanks to Karina Onofre spoiling the Democratic vote for Anila Ali, we have an all-Republican battle for AD-74 to replace Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  Shockingly, Emanuel Patrascu who had the second most money in AD-74 came in fifth while Harper who spent next to nothing (and what he did spend focused on slate mailers) came in a comfortable second.  This comes down to a Newport vs. Huntington battle in the November runoff, as Newport Beach Councilman Curry fights it out with Huntington Beach Mayor Harper for the Assembly seat.  How much in Republican resources will be drained by the AD-74 race in November, as Republicans seek to capture SD-34 and AD-65 from the Democrats?
    .
  2. AD-73: Bill Brough Wins GOP Nomination, Anna Bryson Last – In this safe Republican seat, Bill Brough’s low-budget operation demonstrated that precinct walking does work for winning open seats.  With Democrat Wendy Gabriella advancing to the runoff with Brough, he is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 73rd District and the district’s first Assemblyman in 16 years after Assemblywomen Patricia Bates, Mimi Walters, and Diane Harkey.  Depending on completion of vote counts for absentees and provisionals, Anna Bryson’s IE-laden campaign may have cost well over $100 per vote.  (To put the massive IE spending for Bryson in perspective, here’s how much spending would have been needed for several other candidates in other races to match that rate: Michelle Steel would have needed $2.4 million, Linda Lindholm $3.1 million, and Eric Woolery $11.0 million.)  This race clearly demonstrated: money can’t buy everything.
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  3. AD-55: Ling-Ling Chang Captures Top Spot – In a brutal slugfest between Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang and Walnut Valley Unified School District Trustee Phillip Chen with Diamond Bar Councilman Steve Tye threatening to play spoiler, well-funded Chang managed to overcome very-well-funded Chen’s financial advantage to capture the top spot with 28% of the vote, pushing Chen into third place with 23% of the vote and Tye with 22% of the vote.  Democrat Gregg Fritchle came in second with 28% of the vote.  In this safe Republican district, Chang is the prohibitive favorite to be the next Assemblymember from the 55th District, replacing Curt Hagman.
    .
  4. SD-34: Janet Nguyen Captures Majority of Votes Cast; Republicans Take Almost 2/3 of Votes Cast – It was a foregone conclusion that Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen would be the Republican nominee against the Democrats’ nominee, former Assemblyman Jose Solorio, in the hotly-contested SD-34.  What is shocking is that despite the presence of Republican former Orange County Board of Education Trustee Long Pham on the ballot, Nguyen still managed to capture 52% of the vote to Solorio’s 34% in the two-county SD-34 race.  Pham captured 14%.  With Republicans capturing nearly 2/3 of the vote, and Nguyen herself capturing 52%, this builds significant momentum for Nguyen heading into the November race, with Republicans turning to Nguyen to break the Democrats’ supermajority in the State Senate and Democrats turning to Solorio to preserve the Democrats’ Senate supermajority.  (For the record, I am not related to Janet Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)
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  5. Orange County Board of Education: Linda Lindholm Unseats 32-Year Incumbent Giant Slayer Liz Parker – For the last few years, there was a joke in education circles that the way to win an Assembly seat was to lose an Orange County Board of Education race to Liz Parker.  Chuck DeVore lost to Parker in 1990 and won an Assembly seat in 2004. Don Wagner lost to Parker in 1998 and won an Assembly seat in 2010.  However, Parker is done.  After nearly a 1/3 of a century in office, Liz Parker has been unseated by Laguna Niguel Mayor Linda Lindholm.  No elected official in Orange County has held the same office longer than Liz Parker.  (Indeed, Parker graduated from college the same month she was elected to the Orange County Board of Education.)
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  6. Auditor-Controller: Eric Woolery’s Unprecedented Majority – In a five-way race with no incumbent for Auditor-Controller, Orange City Treasurer Eric Woolery won nearly 57% of the vote, nearly 40% better than the second-place candidate, Deputy Auditor-Controller Frank Davies, who won 17% of the vote.  In a race with three or more candidates with no incumbent, there has not been a candidate who has won by such a large margin in at least 30 years and, quite possibly, ever.  Indeed, there was only one candidate in those incumbent-free, 3+ candidate races who even averted a runoff: David Sundstrom, who received 50.3% of the vote for Auditor-Controller in 1998. (Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly won 41% of the vote in a five-way race for Clerk-Recorder in 2002 before winning the runoff.  Assistant Public Administrator Vicki Landrus won 41% of the vote and College Trustee John Williams won 36% of the vote in a four-way race for Public Administrator in 2002; Williams won the runoff.  OC Internal Auditor David Sundstrom won 50.3% of the vote in a three-way race for Auditor-Controller in 1998.  OC Assistant Assessor Webster Guillory won 26% of the vote in a seven-way race for Assessor in 1998 before winning the runoff.)
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  7. Irvine Unified School District: Ira Glasky Renders Special Election Moot, Beats Agran-Backed Candidate – After IUSD Trustee Gavin Huntley-Fenner resigned due to business and family obligations, the IUSD Board appointed Ira Glasky to fill the seat in November 2013.  Utilizing an obscure section of the Education Code, a petition drive gathered the necessary 1,643 signatures (1.5% of registered voters at the 2012 school board election) to invalidate Glasky’s appointment and force a special election.  The special election cost IUSD schools hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.  Three candidates filed to run: Glasky, Larry Agran-backed Carolyn Inmon, and Bob Vu.  Glasky won 42% of the vote to Inmon’s 37% and Vu’s 22%.  IUSD was forced to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a special election that had the same end result as if the special election had never happened.
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  8. Assessor: Webster Guillory vs. Claude Parrish Runoff – In 2010, Webster Guillory won 53% of the vote to Claude Parrish’s 47%, but Parrish ran as “Businessman/Tax Consultant” in 2010.  Parrish is “Taxpayer Advocate/Businessman” this year.  Last night, Guillory won 47% to Parrish’s 43%, with Jorge Lopez getting 10%.  Parrish’s stronger ballot designation narrowed the margin between Guillory and Parrish.  In Guillory’s favor is the fact that November voters are more favorable to incumbents than June voters.  In Parrish’s favor is the fact that he has a stronger ballot designation in 2014 than he did in 2010.  Also in Parrish’s favor is the investigation around whether or not Guillory’s nomination papers were signed by his subordinates at the office on County time; if this garners more publicity it helps Parrish; if it fizzles, it’s moot.
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  9. Supe-5: Robert Ming vs. Lisa Bartlett RunoffThe narrative in this race always had business interests spending on IEs for Mission Viejo Councilman Frank Ury to put him into the runoff for the Fifth District Supervisor’s race.  The conventional wisdom was wrong, as Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming and Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett each achieved 29% of the vote (Ming ahead of Bartlett by 0.4%), with Ury in third at 24% and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams last at 18%.
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  10. Supe-2: Steel Beats Mansoor 2-1 as Both Make Runoff – Conventional wisdom held that the Second District Supervisor’s race would result in a runoff between Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.  What wasn’t expected was just how close to 50% Steel would get or how large her margin over Mansoor would be.  Surpassing most expectations, Steel pulled off 47% of the vote to Mansoor’s 24%, with Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno at 22% and Huntington Beach Councilman Joe Carchio at 8%.

These honorable mentions were things that happened as expected but may have interesting footnotes:

Honorable Mention #1 – CD-45: Raths Falls Short, Jockeying Begins for SD-37 and Even AD-68 – Republican Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths fell 4% short of overtaking Democrat Educator/Businessman Drew Leavens to advance to the general election with Republican Senator Mimi Walters.  Did Walters’s hit piece (calling Raths a “Bill Clinton Republican” for his assignment to the Clinton White House while serving in the Marine Corps) move the needle 4%?  Jockeying for the special election for Walters’s SD-37 seat and even Assemblyman Don Wagner’s AD-68 seat has already begun since Walters is expected to crush Leavens in CD-45 in November.

Honorable Mention #2 – Shawn Nelson: OC’s Biggest Supervisorial Landslide Ever? With 84% of the vote, Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s reelection bid may well be the most lopsided victory ever achieved by an Orange County supervisor (excluding races where a Supervisor was unopposed or a Supervisor’s only opponent was a write-in candidate).

Honorable Mention #3 – Measure A: OC’s Biggest Landslide Ever? – With 88% of voters in casting ballots in favor of Measure A, the measure may well have achieved the highest percentage ever for a ballot measure in Orange County.

In the interest of full disclosure, clients of Custom Campaigns (the consulting firm that owns OC Political) include four IUSD Trustees (story #7: Ira Glasky, Paul Bokota, Lauren Brooks, and Michael Parham), three OCBE Trustees (story #5: Linda Lindholm, Robert Hammond, and Ken Williams), Eric Woolery (story #6), and Robert Ming (story #9).  Separate and apart from the consulting firm that owns OC Political, this blogger also did the staff work for Measure A (honorable mention #3).

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 34th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 5th Supervisorial District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 3 Primary Election

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 30, 2014

One of our most popular posts from the November 2012 General Election was “Humongous Grid of Endorsements,” so we’re back this election with the Giant Grid of Endorsements for the June 2014 Primary Election.

I did abbreviate for some groups, so OC GOP = Republican Party of Orange County, DPOC = Democratic Party of Orange County, CRA = California Republican Assembly, HJTA = Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, CWLA = California Women’s Leadership Association, OC Tax = Orange County Taxpayers Association, OCBC = Orange County Business Council, and CTA = California Teachers Association.

If you’re particularly interested in a group, click their name to view their endorsements on their web site.  You can learn more about the group there, such as HJTA being the state’s leading taxpayer advocate group or Women in Leadership being a single-issue group with the sole goal of electing “pro-choice women candidates to local, regional and state-wide office who support keeping abortion legal.” (In light of their mission, does anyone else find it odd that Women in Leadership’s two endorsements on this grid are both for school board?)

Candidates in each race are listed in alphabetical order by last name, except incumbents got listed first in their respective races.  Party affiliations are listed except for judicial candidates Thomas Martin and Wayne Philips, as I could not tell their affiliation from the voter database (common names combined with obscure judicial races make figuring out their affiliations challenging).

Whether you love a group and want to vote with their endorsements or hate a group and want to vote against their endorsements, here are the endorsements for county offices and school board, along with local ballot measures:

OC GOP DPOC OC Register Lincoln Club Atlas PAC CRA Family Action PAC HJTA CWLA OC Tax OCBC CTA OC Labor Federation Evolve Women in Leadership Planned Parenthood
Supervisor, 2nd District
Joe Carchio (R)
Allan Mansoor (R) X
Jim Moreno (D) X X X X
Michelle Steel (R) X X X X X X
Supervisor, 4th District
Shawn Nelson (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Rudy Gaona (D) X X
Supervisor, 5th District
Lisa Bartlett (R)
Robert Ming (R) X X X X X X
Frank Ury (R) X X X
Joe Williams (NPP)
Assessor
Webster Guillory (NPP – incumbent) X
Jorge Lopez (D) X X
Claude Parrish (R) X X X X X
Auditor-Controller
James Benuzzi (D)
Mike Dalati (D) X
Frank Davies (R)
John Willard (NPP) X
Eric Woolery (R) X X X X
Clerk-Recorder
Hugh Nguyen (R – incumbent) X X X X X X
Monica Maddox (R)
Gary Pritchard (D) X X
Steve Rocco (NPP)
District Attorney-Public Administrator
Tony Rackauckas (R – incumbent) X X X X X
Greg Diamond (D) X
Sheriff-Coroner
Sandra Hutchens (R – incumbent) X X X X
Superintendent of Schools
Al Mijares (R – incumbent) X X
Treasurer-Tax Collector
Shari Freidenrich (R – incumbent) X X X X X X X
Judge, Office #14
Fred Fascenelli (R)
Kevin Haskins (R) X X X X X
KC Jones (R) X
Thomas Martin
Judge, Office #20
Derek Johnson (D – incumbent)
Helen Hayden (R) X X X X
Judge, Office #27
Joanne Motoike (D – incumbent) X X X
Wayne Philips
Judge, Office #35
Jeff Ferguson (R) X X X
Carmen Luege (R) X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
David Boyd (R – incumbent) * X X X
Tom Pollitt (R) X X X X X X
County Board of Education, Trustee Area 5
Elizabeth Parker (R – incumbent) * X X X X
Linda Lindholm (R) X X X X X X X
Irvine Unified School District (Special Election for Six-Month Term)
Ira Glasky (R – incumbent) X X  X
Carolyn Inmon (D) X X
Bob Vu (R)
Measure A (Orange County)
Yes X X X X
No
Measure B (Buena Park School District)
Yes
No X
Measure C (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No
Measure D (Anaheim)
Yes
No X
Measure E (Anaheim)
Yes X X
No

*The Democratic Party of Orange County did not endorse David Boyd or Elizabeth Parker, instead the DPOC issued anti-endorsements against Tom Pollitt and Linda Lindholm.

Posted in 2nd Supervisorial District, 4th Supervisorial District, 5th Supervisorial District, Anaheim, Buena Park School District, Democrat Central Committee, Irvine Unified School District, Orange County, Orange County Assessor, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Orange County Clerk-Recorder, Orange County Public Administrator, Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lincoln Club Endorses Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on May 20, 2014

This just came across the wire from the Eric Woolery for Auditor-Controller campaign:

LINCOLN CLUB ENDORSES ERIC WOOLERY FOR ORANGE COUNTY AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

NEWPORT BEACH — The Lincoln Club of Orange County, one of the state’s most respected conservative leadership organizations has endorsed Eric Woolery for Orange County Auditor-Controller. According to Lincoln Club President Wayne Lindholm:

“Eric is the consummate professional — a CPA with a long track record of professional and personal success as a financial manager and advisor. Beyond his significant accomplishments as an Auditor and Controller, he has successfully navigated his 700-employee department through the recent financial crisis while maintaining service levels without tax increases. This kind of skill demonstrates that he is exactly the right person to keep watch over Orange County’s finances on behalf of the taxpayer.”

The Lincoln Club endorsement is one of the most sought-after in the county. The club selected Woolery from a field of five candidates vying for the position. The Auditor- Controller’s office is currently managed by an appointee of the County Board of Supervisors but has not had an elected Auditor-Controller for more than two years since David Sundstrom resigned.

Eric Woolery is a CPA and successful owner/manager of a large accounting firm and currently the top administrative and financial head of a large public agency overseeing more than 700 employees and a department budget of $108 million.

He is the only candidate for Auditor-Controller with direct experience in both the private and public sector.  He is committed to providing Orange County taxpayers with the independent oversight required to make government open and accountable to the people.

His campaign website is http://www.ericwoolery.com/ ; on Facebook at Eric Woolery for OC Auditor-Controller or follow him on Twitter @WooleryOC. He has lived in Orange County most of his life and attended Lutheran High School of Orange County and Cal State Fullerton.  He and his wife Lisa have two children and reside in Orange.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Orange County Needs a Watchdog as Auditor-Controller

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on April 23, 2014

This just came across the wire:

ORANGE COUNTY NEEDS A WATCHDOG AS AUDITOR-CONTROLLER

Why the Orange County Taxpayers Association Endorses Eric Woolery

By Carolyn Cavecche, CEO and President, Orange County Taxpayers Association

Election after election, “wanna-be” politicians have targeted specific elected offices at the County of Orange as their opportunity for an entrance into political life. Although these offices seem to be low profile and of little importance to many voters, they are actually positions of great importance with significant responsibilities. Sometimes, the unqualified manage to get elected, sometimes resulting in bad governance. Remember the county’s bankruptcy? Recently, the OC Board of Supervisors took the unusual step of consolidating one of these offices, the County Public Administrator, with the District Attorney’s office. This measure was taken to recover the high level of integrity such an important position should preserve, which was ignored by an unqualified elected official. The elected position of Orange County Auditor-Controller is one of those offices of great importance to the taxpayers, as it oversees all of our taxpayer monies at the County of Orange.

The Orange County Taxpayers Association has endorsed Eric Woolery in the Orange County Auditor-Controller’s race because he has the right set of skills and expertise to best serve as the watchdog over Orange County’s taxpayer funds. He is a CPA, a former small business owner, a former county school board member, and currently serves as Orange Treasurer. He understands the importance of vigilance and has a track record that demonstrates that he knows how to monitor how the county spends precious taxpayer resources in order to find and fight fraud and waste. He is a professional who is actually qualified for the position of Auditor-Controller.

As a taxpayer watchdog, Woolery will prepare both elected decision makers and the public to make the policy decisions that will protect Orange County taxpayers. Eric Woolery has created priorities based on his knowledge, and his proactive budgeting approach will not only get Orange County through these next few years, but will also protect us for years to come. His priorities include:

  • Exposing and fighting Sacramento’s raids on our local coffers. This year, he reclaimed $18 million for his county department.
  • Enhancing county productivity and performance through new processes and accountabilities. Through the recession, he cut costs in his agency by 25% while maintaining operational effectiveness.
  • Helping solve the current pension crisis while implementing safeguards to guarantee future sustainability.

Every year, the Auditor-Controller’s office issues the “OC Citizens Report.” Eric Woolery’s version of this report will include an analysis of the fiscal strengths and challenges for the county and its $5.4 billion budget. On day one, he plans to dig into fiscal matters and immediately start answering the following questions and finding solutions to them; if elected, next year’s report will include solutions to the biggest issues facing Orange County:

  • What is our pension liability? How does Orange County’s liability compare to other counties?
  • What policies has the Auditor-Controller offered to the Board of Supervisors as solutions?
  • How stable are the county’s revenue sources?
  • Is the state planning to raid our coffers again, and if so, what will the impact be? Can we prepare?
  • Are there plans afoot to find new sources of revenue without raising taxes?
  • Does the Auditor-Controller have plans to streamline, consolidate, or cut costs to improve efficiencies?

Please join the Orange County Taxpayers Association in voting for Eric Woolery and his proactive leadership to improve our quality of life and keep Orange County one of the most sought after regions to live.

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Posted in Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »