OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘Gisela Contreras’

Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Call for Brough to Retire

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 16, 2019

We’re live from the OC GOP Central Committee, where tonight’s agenda includes endorsements of Shawn Steel for re-election as RNC Committeeman, Harmeet Dhillon for re-election as RNC Committeewoman, Ken Williams for re-election to the County Board of Education, Gale Oliver for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, Gene James for the San Clemente City Council special election, and Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election. (Christina Selter for the San Clemente City Council special election is also eligible to be considered, but the Endorsements Committee recommendation is for James. Selter did not receive the recommendation of the Endorsements Committee.) Finally, there is a closed Executive Session on a resolution regarding Assemblyman Bill Brough.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Kuo delivers the invocation. OC GOP intern Joe Gonzalez leads the Pledge of Allegiance.

Two new alternate members are sworn in.

Chairman Fred Whitaker gives updates on the 39th, 45th, and 48th Congressional District races. Publicly released polling shows Supervisor Michelle Steel in a tie with 48th District Congressman Harley Rouda and shows former Assemblywoman Young Kim slightly ahead of 39th District Congressman Gil Cisneros. The field has narrowed in the 45th Disrict, with Deputy District Attorney Ray Gennawey dropping out.

Whitaker wins unanimous votes from the Cebtral Committee to appoint the Resolutions and Financial Review Committees.

Steel and Dhillon are endorsed for re-election unanimously after a motion to suspend the rules to allow their endorsement resolution to be considered passed nearly unanimously, with Deborah Pauly opposing the suspension.

The featured speaker is Crime Survivors Founder and CEO Patricia Wenskunas. She speaks about crime victims and the crime victims’ movement. She ends her remarks urging the passage of the resolution calling for Brough to not seek re-election and directly addresses Brough urging him to resign.

Ken Williams is endorsed for re-election unanimously to the Orange County Board of Education. Gale Oliver is endorsed unanimously for the Santa Ana Council Ward 4 special election, as is Gisela Contreras for the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education special election.

Committee Member Diane Harkey moves to endorse Gene James. Committee Member Jennifer Beall offers a substitute motion for no endorsement since there are two Republican candidates.

Beall urges a respectful process, expressing concern about the contentiousness. She had urged the Endorsements Committee to wait until after filing closed. She notes both Republicans have good ballot designations. Selter is the only woman running. Both have good ballot positions. The 19-year-old Democrat who won 7% in the last election is not a real threat.

Committee Member Jon Fleischman warns that the number of Republican elected officials is declining each election cycle. He says James is the candidate who can win the seat for Republicans. He argues the Democrat has received funding and support from unions and other Democratic leaders. Fleischman argues the Beall motion is unnecessary because it takes 2/3 to endorse a candidate, and it is entirely possible no one gets to 2/3, which would have the same end result as the Beall motion.

The parliamentarian notes the Beall motion needs a majority of those present and voting.

14 vote in favor of the Beall motion while 27 vote against.

Endorsements Committee Chair Peggy Huang delivered the report of the committee. The other members are Mark Bucher, Laurie Davies, Tyler Diep, Gene Hernandez, Leroy Mills, and Erik Weigand. The committee met with James and recommended his endorsement 4-2. Later, when it met with Selter, the vote was 5-0 for neutrality and 4-1 to recommend Selter be able to speak to the Central Committee.

James notes he was endorsed last year. He says he came within 0.4% of winning in 2018 despite only living in San Clemente for two years. He blasts the “20-year-old socialist” who received $5,000 from the firefighters union and the endorsement of four former Mayors. James is an Army veteran who served at Checkpoint Charlie. He is a pro-life, limited government conservative. He has taught homeland security and criminal justice. He serves on the national USO board.

Selter was born and raised in OC and has lived for 10 years in San Clemente. She sits on two County board representing San Clemente. She works to help provide services to senior citizens. She volunteers with her church. She opposes the toll road extension into San Clemente.

Deborah Pauly asks how long each has been a Republican. Both have been lifelong Republicans.

Kermit Marsh asks how much each candidate has raised and how much cash is on hand.

James says he has raised $20,000 and has $10,000 cash-on-hand.

Selter says she has several thousand and is willing to self-fund.

The motion on James has 26 votes in favor and 13 against. That is exactly 2/3. James is endorsed.

July Volunteer of the Month Abigail Scott is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, Senator John Moorlach, and Assemblyman Steven Choi.

August Volunteer of the Month Amy Freeman is recognized by Chairman Fred Whitaker, 1st Vice Chair Peggy Huang, and the office of Senator Ling Ling Chang.

Officer reports are delivered.

Two alternates are sworn in before Executive Session.

The Central Committee enters Executive Session at 8:22 PM.

The Central Committee returned from Executive Session at 8:50 PM and announced the following resolution passed:

Resolution on Assemblyman Bill Brough

BE IT RESOLVED that based on the totality of the circumstances and controversies surrounding the Assemblyman, the Republican Party of Orange County calls on Bill Brough to not file for re-election to the State Assembly, and retire at the end of his current term.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District, Orange County Board of Education, Republican Central Committee, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Santa Ana Unified to Hold November 5 Special Election for School Board

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 14, 2019

Santa Ana Unified School DistrictAfter two regular board meetings and four special board meetings, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) was unable to fill the vacancy on their School Board that resulted from the election of Ceci Iglesias (R) to the Santa Ana City Council.  As such, they did not meet the February 9 deadline under state law to fill the vacancy by appointment, and the County Superintendent of Schools must call a special election for SAUSD.

The special election will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, less than one year after the regular election for School Board (and City Council).  The regular election for the next term for the same School Board seat will be less than a year later on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

After winning 39.1% of the vote in a three-way race in the November 6, 2018, election, Iglesias was sworn in to the City Council on December 4.  Her former School Board seat will be vacant for nearly 11 months, with the special election winner holding the seat for just over a year before the term expires.

On December 11, the School Board voted to hold an appointment process.  Applications were due January 3.  The School Board held a special meeting on January 8 to interview the 10 applicants. During that meeting, 2 applicants were ruled ineligible because they did not live in the School District boundaries, and 3 finalists were picked from the 8 eligible applicants.

At a January 15 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on the appointee for the vacancy, with Board Members Rigo Rodriguez (D) and Alfonso Alvarez (D) voting to appoint Carolyn Torres (D) and Board Members John Palacio (D) and Valerie Amezcua (D) voting to appoint Bruce Bauer (D).  A compromise attempt by Palacio to appoint the third finalist, Sergio Verino (D), failed when no one else supported Verino.

At its January 22 regular meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer again.

At its January 29 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a third time.

At its February 8 special meeting, the Board deadlocked 2-2 on Torres and Bauer a fourth and final time.

Meanwhile at Santa Ana City Hall: Roman Reyna (D) resigned from the Santa Ana City Council, effective March 1.  The Santa Ana City Charter gives the City Council until March 31 to appoint someone to fill the resulting vacancy.  (Reyna had agreed to resign as part of a legal settlement to end a lawsuit accusing Reyna of being legally ineligible for the seat when he was elected in the November 6, 2018 election.  As part of the agreement, Reyna agreed not to seek appointment to fill the vacancy nor run for election to fill the vacancy.)

If the Council fails to fill the vacancy by March 31, then there shall be a special election for City Council on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, to fill the remaining three years on that Council seat.  In other words, most Santa Ana voters would fill both a City Council vacancy (through 2022) and a School Board vacancy (through 2020) in the November 2019 special election.  (95.7% of SAUSD voters are residents of the City of Santa Ana.  Conversely, only 73.7% of Santa Ana City voters are residents of SAUSD.)

The applicants for appointment to the School Board vacancy consisted of 7 Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 No Party Preference registrant.  Of those, 1 Democrat and 1 Republican were ruled ineligible since they are not residents of SAUSD.  The 10 applicants who were considered on January 8 were:

Receiving 3-4 Votes to Become Finalists

  • Bruce Bauer (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2016 election for SAUSD
  • Carolyn Torres (D), a middle school teacher and an activist with Chicanos Unidos
  • Sergio Verino (D), a community college adjunct professor and a Santa Ana City Code Enforcement Supervisor

Torres and Verino both received four votes to advance to the finalist stage while Bauer received three votes (Rigo Rodriguez dissenting on Bauer).

Receiving 2 Votes

  • Shaulyn Barban (NPP), an 18-year-old high school senior
  • Irma Macias (D), a Santa Ana Parks and Recreation Commissioner, who came in 6th in the 2018 election for City Council, Ward 2
  • Mark McLoughlin (D), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner and former Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee, who came in 5th in the 2016 election for SAUSD

Valerie Amezcua proposed advancing Barban to the finalist stage, John Palacio proposed advancing Macias, and Rigo Rodriguez proposed advancing McLoughlin.  Alfonso Alvarez provided a second vote for each of the three to advance to the finalist stage.

Receiving 1 Vote

  • Jesus Montoya (D), a community college counselor

Only Rigo Rodriguez supported advancing Montoya to the finalist stage.

Receiving No Votes

  • Gisela Contreras (R), an insurance brokerage account manager
  • Abigail Aleman (D), ruled ineligible as a resident of Garden Grove Unified School District
  • Richard Lyons (R), ruled ineligible as a resident of Saddleback Valley Unified School District

Posted in Santa Ana, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »