OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Audra Strickland’

Former Cypress Councilwoman’s Husband Files for Council Seat

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 23, 2012

Lydia Sondhi

Former Cypress City Councilwoman Lydia Sondhi

Cypress City Council Candidate Jay Sondhi

Lydia Sondhi (R-Cypress) served on her City Council from 1998 until terming out in 2006.  Councilmen Phil Luebben and Todd Seymore are termed out this year, creating the first open seats on the Cypress Council since Sondhi, Frank McCoy, and Mike McGill all termed out in 2006.

Sondhi’s husband, Jay Sondhi, pulled papers for Council on the first day papers could be pulled, Monday, July 16, and then filed them on Friday, July 20.

The Law Offices of Jay Sondhi are located in Cypress. Sondhi graduated from the University of Missouri Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1986.  He was a corporate attorney who spent two decades in insurance.  He’s now a legal consultant for insurance companies.  Sondhi is a Cypress Chamber Board Member, the Treasurer of the Cypress Police Foundation, the President-Elect of the Cypress Kiwanis, and a former President of the Cypress Boys & Girls Club.

Lydia Sondhi was Mayor Pro Tem of Cypress in 2001 and Mayor in both 2002 and 2006.  (She was on the Cypress Council during the City’s effort to seize land owned by Cottonwood Church to give to Costco, but she did not vote on the issue due to a conflict of interest from her home’s proximity to the land in question.)  She came in third out of ten candidates for three council seats when Frank McCoy, Mike McGill, and she all won their first council terms in 1998 (future Councilman Todd Seymore came in ninth out of ten).  She came in third out of eight candidates for three council seats when McGill, McCoy, and she were all re-elected in 2002.  She has been a Professor of Consumer Affairs at California State University Long Beach since 1986 and previously served on the executive board of the California Faculty Association, the CSU professors’ union.

It looks like Sondhi will be downplaying his wife’s prior council tenure during the campaign, as the press release announcing his candidacy only made this brief half-sentence mention of his wife: “Jay Sondhi is married to Lydia Sondhi and has lived in Cypress for 26 years.”

Sondhi likely realizes Orange Countians aren’t exactly keen about electing spouses of living elected officials:

  • In 2010, Sandra Crandall didn’t even mention her husband’s name in her campaign biography in her successful bid for the Fountain Valley School Board.  Her husband, Larry, has been on the Fountain Valley City Council since 1998 and was on the school board from 1990-1998.
  • In 2009, Linda Ackerman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned her husband, former Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman.
  • In 2006, Dianne Harman made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  The press coverage of that race repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Tom Harman, was her husband.
  • In 2004, Gayle Pacheco made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly.  Bob Huff came in first in all three counties but Pacheco came in third in Orange County while coming in second in both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.  (Villa Park Councilman Bill MacAloney came in second in Orange County and third in the other two.)  Her campaign’s press releases repeatedly mentioned that the incumbent, Bob Pacheco, was her husband.
  • In 1980, Beverly Nestande made an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly seat vacated by her husband, Bruce, when he won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

(Widows and widowers are rarely tested, as relatively few Orange County officials have died in office in seats where special elections were held to fill the vacancies; OC’s dead elected officials have generally held offices where vacancies are filled by appointment.)

While a number of political spouses have been successful in California politics (George and Sharon Runner, Tony and Audra Strickland, Judy Chu and Mike Eng, and Ted and Beth Gaines), few have been successful in Orange County.

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Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the Docket

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2012

Todd Spitzer, Deborah Pauly, Janet Nguyen, and Steve Rocco

3rd District Candidates Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly, 1st District Supervisor Janet Nguyen, and 1st District Challenger Steve Rocco

I’m not sure which supervisorial race will be more entertaining this June: Todd Spitzer vs. Deborah Pauly or Janet Nguyen vs. Steve Rocco.  The Spitzer-Pauly race in the Third District will have some great fireworks, as Spitzer and Pauly are two of Orange County’s most aggressive campaigners while the Nguyen-Rocco race in the First District will simply be entertaining by virtue of Steve Rocco.

Third Supervisorial District

Incumbent Supervisor Bill Campbell is termed out after nearly ten years on the Board of Supervisors; he was elected in a 2003 special election (indeed, this was Orange County’s first-ever Supervisorial vacancy special election, as all previous vacancies had been filled by gubernatorial appointment) to replace Todd Spitzer who had vacated the seat to enter the State Assembly.

The candidates (as expected) are:

Former Assemblyman and former Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer is running to for his old job.   Originally slated to battle former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore for the seat, DeVore moved to Texas late last year.  With DeVore out, Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly stepped into the race.  Fireworks have sparked every time these two candidates have met in debates throughout the Third District.  The mail should be fun to read.  Spitzer definitely has the cash advantage in this race, as I posted here.  For other coverage of the race, you can view the, um, rather, um slanted perspective that HBK provides.

First Supervisorial District

The candidates are:

After Kinde Durkee wiped out Democrat Assemblyman Jose Solorio and Democrat Senator Lou Correa’s warchests, Supervisor Janet Nguyen was left with a warchest that dwarfed those of Solorio and Correa combined.  Solorio and Correa would have had to spend an enormous sum to unseat Nguyen.

With the fact that most of his money was gone and that Assemblymembers don’t have a very good track record of unseating incumbent Supervisors (see Guy Houston or Audra Strickland), Solorio opted to avoid a losing battle with Nguyen.

Faced with the fact that most of his money was gone, Correa opted to wait.  He could be hoping that Nguyen will go for his Senate seat in 2014 when he’s termed out, which will free up the First Supervisorial District seat for a 2015 special election, much like Correa did when he vacated this Supervisorial seat in 2006 causing a 2007 Supervisorial special election that Nguyen won.

So now we’re left with, um, what’s the polite way to put it, um, colorful former Orange Unified School District Trustee Steve Rocco.  I could also call him convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco.  Perhaps, Rocco’s previous election opponents can form a bipartisan coalition to give Nguyen advice on beating Rocco (or at least on how to keep Rocco from stealing her condiments), though I suspect the advice will be along the lines of: don’t steal mustard:

  • OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma (R), who defeated Rocco 72%-28% in November 2010
  • Former OC Public Administrator John Williams (R), who defeated Rocco 58%-11% in a four-way race in June 2010
  • Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante (R), who defeated Rocco 50%-18% in a four-way race in November 2008
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee John Hanna (D), who defeated Rocco 74%-26% in November 2006 and 71%-29% in November 2002
  • Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (D), who defeated Rocco 71%-12% in a three-way race in November 2000

(Surprisingly, Rocco did not run for Governor in the 2003 recall.)

Don’t ask OC Park Ranger Phil Martinez, though, as he’s the one who lost 54%-46% to Rocco in the OUSD race in November 2004.

Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of being part of “The Partnership” which Rocco previously claimed was the secret group ruling the United States?  Will Rocco accuse Supervisor Nguyen of trying to have him killed, similar to the accusation he leveled at “The Partnership,” Chapman University President Jim Doti, and Chapman Professor Fred Smoller?

Please read the Wikipedia article on Steve Rocco for your own entertainment.

(For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 3rd Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »