OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘John Campbell’

BOE: Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths Enters the Race

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 7, 2018

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths
(R-Mission Viejo)

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) has entered the race for the State Board of Equalization seat being vacated by BOE Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), who is not seeking re-election in order to run for the 49th Congressional District seat of retiring Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista).  The massive BOE seat includes all of Imperial, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties, with small slivers of San Bernardino County.

Raths join a race that already includes State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine), former Assemblyman Ken Lopez-Maddox (D-Dana Point), former Councilman John F. Kelley (R-Tustin), and Board of Equalization employee David Dodson (D-Dana Point).  Orange County Water District Director and former City Councilman Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is exploring his candidacy for the seat.  Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche (R-Orange) ruled out running shortly before Senator Anderson entered the race.  (Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Anderson and Lopez-Maddox entering the BOE race, along with Lopez-Maddox’s unexpected party switch.  Here’s OC Political’s coverage of Bilodeau and Cavecche’s explorations of the BOE race that also discusses Kelley.)

Raths first ran for elected office in 2014 when he ran for the 45th Congressional District after Congressman John Campbell (R-Irvine) announced his retirement.  State Senator Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) won 45% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Drew Leavens (D-Poway) winning 28%, Raths 24%, and Al Salehi (NPP-Buena Park) 3%.  Since he did not make it to the general election for the Congressional seat, Raths was able to run for Mission Viejo City Council, in which the retired Marine Colonel was the top vote-getter in a race that saw two incumbent Councilmembers defeated.

In 2016, first-term Councilman Raths challenged first-term Congresswoman Walters’s re-election bid.  Walters won 41% of the vote in the top-two primary, with Ron Varasteh (D-Irvine) winning 28%, Raths 19%, and Max Gouron (D-Tustin) 12%.

Posted in Board of Equalization, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BOE: Senator Anderson Enters the Race While Lopez-Maddox Enters as a Democrat

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 23, 2018

Joel Anderson

Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine)

State Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has entered the race for Board of Equalization to succeed Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point), who is running for the 49th Congressional District seat after Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) announced his decision not to seek re-election.  Anderson seeks to be the first San Diego County resident to win the BOE seat since Ernest Dronenburg termed out twenty years ago.

First elected to the Padre Dam Municipal Water District in 2002, Anderson was elected to the State Assembly in 2006 and re-elected in 2008.  He won a 2010 bid for the State Senate and was re-elected in 2014.  Anderson raised $332,000 for Assembly in 2006 and $466,000 for his 2008 re-election.  He raised $779,000 for his initial Senate election in 2010 and $200,000 in his re-election in 2014.

Anderson narrowly won a five-candidate Republican primary for Assembly in 2006, defeating Santee Councilman Jack Dale by just 858 votes.  He won a four-candidate Republican primary for Senate in 2010, defeating Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone by 14%.

Former Assemblyman Ken Lopez-Maddox also entered the race, but oddly did so as a Democrat, a party he only recently joined.  First elected to the Garden Grove City Council in 1996, he was elected to the State Assembly in 1998 and was re-elected in 2000 and 2002 before losing the 2004 Republican primary for State Senate to John Campbell 60%-30% (a third candidate got 9%).  He moved to South County and then won a seat on the Capistrano Unified School District during a 2008 recall election but would be recalled himself in 2010, as the CUSD majority flipped back and forth.  In 2014, he was preparing for a bid for Orange County Public Administrator, but then the Board of Supervisors consolidated the position into the office of Orange County District Attorney-Public Administrator.  Instead, his wife, Monica, then ran for Clerk-Recorder, coming in second in a four-candidate field, winning 18% of the vote to Hugh Nguyen‘s 61%.  One week after his wife’s defeat for Clerk-Recorder, Ken Lopez-Maddox left the Republican Party.  He was registered as No Party Preference from then until becoming a Democrat in recent days.

Posted in Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

BOE: Cavecche & Bilodeau Exploring Candidacies

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 12, 2018

Carolyn Cavecche & Denis Bilodeau

Carolyn Cavecche and Denis Bilodeau

With Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) ending her BOE re-election bid in order to run for the 49th Congressional District seat after Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) announced his decision not to seek re-election, former and current elected officials across Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial Counties are contemplating whether to launch bids to replace Harkey in the massive BOE district that covers 1/4 of California’s population.

Multiple sources inform OC Political that Orange County Taxpayers Association President and CEO Carolyn Cavecche (R-Orange) is examining whether she will launch a bid for BOE, the nation’s only elected tax board, since Harkey switched to CD-49.  Cavecche previously won a 2001 special election and 2002 regular election to the Orange City Council and then won three elections for Mayor of Orange in 2006, 2008, and 2010, terming out as Mayor in 2012.  Cavecche would bring a formidable ballot designation of “Taxpayer Association President,” “Taxpayer Association CEO,” or “Taxpayer Advocate.”  Harkey used “Taxpayer Advocate/Assemblywoman” as her ballot designation and defeated former Assemblymembers Van Tran and Shirley Horton.  My long-ago former employer, George Runner, won a hotly-contested BOE race in 2010 with a 10% margin of victory, using “Senator/Taxpayer Advocate” as his ballot designation, defeating Acting Equalization Board Member (and former Assemblywoman) Barbara Alby and former Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi.

Sources have also stated that Orange County Water District Board Member Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is pursuing a slate mailer strategy for the BOE race since Harkey switched to CD-49.  Bilodeau won two elections to the Orange City Council in 2006 and 2010, terming out of the Council in 2014.  He also won five elections to represent Orange, Villa Park, and portions of Tustin on the water board in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.  Bilodeau is also Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s Chief of Staff.  Bilodeau is reportedly making slate reservations for BOE, following the strategy that put Businessman/Corporate Controller Claude Parrish into the BOE seat in 1998.  Both of his successors, Michelle Steel and Diane Harkey, also used an aggressive slate strategy.

Former Councilman John F. Kelly (R-Tustin) had pulled papers to run against Harkey.  He won only 11% of the vote when he ran against her in 2014.  A former long-time tobacco shop owner, Kelly does have an odd boost in name ID now, thanks to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.  Former Tobacco Shop Owner Kelly served one term on the Tustin City Council from 1986-1990, having been elected to office at the age of 24 and defeated for re-election at the age of 28.  He also made an ill-fated bid for Congress in 1988 for the seat eventually won by Chris Cox (who was succeeded by John Campbell who was succeeded by Mimi Walters).  No word on if Kelly will continue his campaign, now that Harkey is out.

The four most recent people to have held this seat and their current positions are:

Harkey and Steel used the combined ballot designation and slates strategy to win the seat. In 2014, Harkey bought up most of the slates and used a ballot designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Assemblywoman” to defeat former Assemblymembers Van Tran and Shirley Horton after forcing Senator Mark Wyland out of the race.  In 2006, Steel used a ballot designation of “Equalization Boardmember’s Deputy” and bought up most of the slates to defeat Assemblyman Ray Haynes.

With Cavecche holding down the best ballot designation, if Bilodeau does hoover up all the slates, this will be the most closely-contested BOE race since 1998.  Lacking a great ballot designation in 1998, Parrish bought up every possible slate to defeat the formidable ballot designation of “Equalization Boardmember’s Deputy” Craig Wilson.  Parrish beat Wilson by a tiny margin of 0.7%.

Posted in Board of Equalization, Orange, Orange County Water District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Total Chaos: Harkey & Chavez Running for CD-49; Nelson, Kim, & Huff Running for CD-39; Who’s Running for BOE & AD-76?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 11, 2018

The unexpected announcements in a three-day period by Congressmen Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Darrell Issa (R-Vista) that they would not be running for re-election in two of the most hotly-contested Congressional seats in the country set off a game of musical chairs that has unleashed total chaos in the Southern California political world, particularly in Orange County and even in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties.

The Fast and the Furious

In a three-day span, two Congressional races, a Board of Equalization race, an Assembly race, and a supervisorial race were turned upside down.  Former and current elected officials have been switching campaigns faster than the speed of street racers living a quarter-mile at a time.

On Monday, Royce announced he would not be running for re-election in the 39th Congressional District.  The next evening, former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) entered the CD-39 race the with Royce’s endorsement and dropped out of the race to succeed Fourth District Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton).  Less than 3 hours later, Nelson entered the race for CD-39, abandoning plans to wait for an open judicial seat.  Within 20 minutes of Nelson’s entry, former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) entered the CD-39 race.

On Wednesday, Issa announced he would not be running for re-election in the 49th Congressional District.  Two hours later, Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) entered the CD-49 race with the endorsements of both Issa and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), ending her re-election bid for the State Board of Equalization.  Four hours after Harkey’s entry, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) entered the CD-49 race, ending his re-election bid for the 76th Assembly District.  Inexplicably, both the San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times reported that Chavez was the first to enter the race despite Harkey announcing first.

The rapid Royce and Issa retirements set off so many rumors that Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and Ken Calvert (R-Corona) both felt compelled to issue statements yesterday confirming that they were continuing their re-election campaigns.  Calvert said, “I look forward to campaigning in 2018 to represent the 42nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives…” (full statement here). Rohrabacher said, “I am unequivocally running for re-election and confident that my views reflect the values and the needs of my constituents here in Orange County…” (full statement here).

The Hunger Games

Kim’s entry into the CD-39 race shook up the 4th Supervisorial District race to succeed Nelson, for she was the candidate with the highest name ID and largest warchest.  Harkey’s entry into the CD-49 race has now created a race for BOE that otherwise would have been a near-certain re-election for her.  Similarly, Chavez’s entry into CD-49 race has now created a race for AD-76 that otherwise would have been a probable re-election for him.

In all of this, it cannot be forgotten: CD-39 and CD-49 are both key swing seats that could help determine party control of the United States House of Representatives.  With that in mind, since the Democratic fields for both districts has stayed steady, we’re focusing on the completely-transformed Republican fields for both districts.

A picture (or flow chart) is worth 1,000 words for the first few days of our local version of The Hunger Games.  There can only be one victor in each seat, as various elected officials hope the odds are ever in their favor:

CD-39/CD-49 Flow Chart

49th Congressional District

I promise: no more gratuitous movie references in this blog post.  In the 49th Congressional District race to succeed Issa:

Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey (R-Dana Point) represents all of CD-49, as her massive BOE district includes the entirety of Orange, San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside Counties, as well as portions of San Bernardino County.  She won one election to the Dana Point City Council and then three elections to the State Assembly representing portions of South Orange County and North San Diego County.   Harkey raised $600,000 for her BOE campaign.  She raised $259,000 for her 2012 Assembly re-election, $189,000 in 2010, and $299,000 in 2008.

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez represents 63% of CD-49 voters.  Of the 387,000 registered voters in CD-49, Chavez represents the 244,000 who reside in the AD-76 overlap with CD-49.  He won two elections to the Oceanside City Council and then three elections to the State Assembly representing North San Diego County.  In the most recent election in 2016, he made an awkward bid for US Senate, in which he dropped out live on air on KOGO-AM in the opening minutes of a Republican Senate debate.  He had raised $117,000 for his US Senate campaign.  Chavez raised $198,000 for his 2016 Assembly re-election, $256,000 in 2014, and $258,000 in 2012.

There are currently four Democrats running for CD-49, none of whom hold elected office, and three of whom have raised over $500,000 (and the fourth entered after the last campaign finance reporting period).  If no other Republican enters, and none of the Democrats drop out, it is entirely possible a CD-31 2012 scenario could play out, and we could see Harkey vs. Chavez in the November general election.  (CD-31 was a highly competitive swing seat in 2012, but Congressman Gary Miller and State Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton faced off in the general election because four Democrats split the vote, allowing Miller and Dutton to slip into the top two spots.)

39th Congressional District

Here are excerpts of OC Political’s analysis from Tuesday in relation to Nelson, Huff, and Kim before their entries into the 39th Congressional District race to succeed Royce:

Supervisor Shawn Nelson represents 45% of the voters of the 39th Congressional District.  Of the 367,000 registered voters in CD-39, Nelson represents 166,000 of them, who reside in the 4th Supervisorial District’s overlap with CD-39.  Nelson has deep roots in the district, having grown up in Fullerton, graduated from high school there, and even graduating from law school there.  He’s also a member of countless civic organizations in CD-39.  Nelson won three elections to the Fullerton City Council and two to the Orange County Board of Supervisors (and raised the necessary money to wage those campaigns).  As it happens, he is termed out from the Board in 2018.

Former State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff represented 71% of CD-39 voters, with 262,000 of the 367,000 CD-39 voters residing in SD-29, which Huff termed out of in 2016.  Huff won three elections to the Diamond Bar City Council, two to the State Assembly, and two to the State Senate.  Diamond Bar is the largest LA County city in CD-39.  Though he lost his bid for the LA County Board of Supervisors, there are less than 200 voters who are in the overlap between CD-39 and that supervisorial district.  As a former Senate Republican Leader, he’s certainly capable of raising funds for this seat.

Former Assemblywoman Young Kim represented 35% of CD-39 voters, with 95,000 of the 367,000 CD-39 voters residing in AD-65.  However, Kim also holds the unique distinction of having worked for Royce for nearly 20 years before her election to the Assembly.  She had been his Director of Community Relations and Asian Affairs.  In 2014, Kim defeated Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva’s re-election bid, but in 2016, Quirk-Silva avenged herself by defeating Kim’s re-election bid.  Kim is certainly familiar with what a swing seat campaign entails, with her sheer number of volunteers and staff.  She raised $2 million in each of her two Assembly campaigns.  Kim is currently in the midst of her bid to replace the termed out Nelson to represent the Fourth District on the Board of Supervisors.  If Kim switched to the Congressional race, it would leave La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw the sole Republican candidate facing off against Democrat Joe Kerr, a former long-time firefighters’ union president, for Supervisor (other Democrats running for the seat would presumably be eliminated by the voters in the June primary).

At the moment, there are six Democrats and two independents (though a seventh Democrat is reportedly looking at the seat).  Five of the Democrats have raised over $100,000 (one has hit $400,000), and four of them have self-funded in amounts ranging from $111,000-$2,000,000.  A CD-31 2012 scenario is tougher here than in CD-49 (though not out of the question) with three Republicans, six or seven Democrats, and two independents.  However, if one of the three Republicans drops out, a CD-31 2012 scenario becomes much more likely with that large Democratic Party field.

Board of Equalization

Lost in the Congressional races has been the fact that the Board of Equalization race is now wide open since Harkey will be running for CD-49 rather than seeking re-election.

Former Councilman John F. Kelly (R-Tustin) had pulled papers to run against Harkey.  He won only 11% of the vote when he ran against her in 2014.  A former long-time tobacco shop owner, Kelly does have an odd boost in name ID now, thanks to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.  Former Tobacco Shop Owner Kelly served one term on the Tustin City Council from 1986-1990, having been elected to office at the age of 24 and defeated for re-election at the age of 28.  He also made an ill-fated bid for Congress in 1988 for the seat eventually won by Chris Cox (who was succeeded by John Campbell who was succeeded by Mimi Walters).  No word on if Kelly will continue his campaign, now that Harkey is out.

Sources have stated that Orange County Water District Board Member Denis Bilodeau (R-Orange) is examining whether he will enter the BOE race since Harkey switched to CD-49.  Bilodeau won two elections to the Orange City Council, serving from 2006 to 2014, when he termed out.  He also won five elections to represent Orange, Villa Park, and portions of Tustin on the water board.  Bilodeau is also Shawn Nelson’s Chief of Staff at the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

76th Assembly District

Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern was running for AD-76 in 2016 until withdrawing when Chavez dropped out of the US Senate race.  Kern is currently running for San Diego County Supervisor in the Fifth District but sources indicate he is preparing to switch back to AD-76 in 2018 since Chavez is now running for CD-49.  Kern had raised $184,000 for AD-76 in 2016 until Chavez’s return forced Kern out of the race.

Strangely, no Democrat has ever run for AD-76 since the implementation of the top two primary.  Chavez has only run against other Republicans for Assembly.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 49th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, Board of Equalization | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AD 72: Mayor Pro Tem Diep Becomes Early Frontrunner in Race to Replace Assemblyman Allen

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 11, 2017

Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep (R-Westminster)

Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep (R-Westminster)

Cross-posted to OC Daily

As reported by OC Daily in English and Viet Bao in Vietnamese, Westminster Mayor Pro Tem Tyler Diep has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the 72nd Assembly District, finally confirming rumors that had swirled since mid-June.  The seat is being vacated by Assemblyman Travis Allen, who is running for Governor.

Diep comes out of the gate wielding a $260,000 City Council warchest that he can easily transfer to his Assembly race.  Diep also wields the most useful endorsement for this seat: the incumbent, Travis Allen.  The endorsement of the current occupant of the seat being sought is always uniquely helpful in a campaign, but Allen’s endorsement has an extra degree of usefulness in 2018 due to his increased name ID from his bid for Governor.

The two dominant population centers of AD-72 are Little Saigon and Huntington Beach.  In these two areas, Diep has locked up the endorsements of nearly anyone who could run against him.  He has sought to not only clear the field but win the support of the field.  It is difficult to launch a bid against someone when you have already endorsed them.

Diep quickly rounded up the endorsements of all three rumored candidates from Huntington Beach: Councilmembers Barbara Delgleize, Mike Posey, and Patrick Brenden.  (Posey is so popular that he was rumored for AD-72 despite being a resident of AD-74.)

Diep has locked down the endorsements of nearly every Vietnamese-American elected official in AD-72: Westminster Mayor Tri Ta, Westminster Councilwoman Kimberly Ho, Fountain Valley Mayor Pro Tem Michael Vo, Garden Grove School Board Members Dina Nguyen and Lan Quoc Nguyen, and Westminster School Board Members Frances Nguyen and Khanh Nguyen.  (In fact, Diep has the endorsement of every Vietnamese-American school board member in AD-72.)

The only other Republican Vietnamese-American City Councilmember in AD-72 (or actually, in all of Orange County) is Phat Bui of Garden Grove.  However, Bui was so badly bloodied in the First Supervisorial District race last year in which he came in third behind Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez and Supervisor Andrew Do that an AD-72 bid by Bui would be quixotic.  The Democrats’ sole Vietnamese-American City Councilmember is Thu-Ha Nguyen, who was just elected last year, but the AD-72 seat will remain in Republican hands and Councilwoman Nguyen occupies a small district seat since Garden Grove switched to by-district elections last year, so her name ID is confined to a small portion of Garden Grove.

At this point, it is difficult to see any viable opponent to Diep since virtually any viable candidate for AD-72 has endorsed Diep.

In my conversations with other people about the Diep candidacy before he officially announced, I commented that Diep appeared to be borrowing a page from the Mimi Walters strategy, and his official announcement bears that out.  In June 2013, when Congressman John Campbell announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014, Walters came barreling out of the gate with a large warchest and a slew of endorsements that included nearly every potential opponent.  The strategy worked well for Walters who won her seat and worked to help elect so many other Republicans that she was quickly elected by freshmen Members of Congress to serve as their representative in the House Republican leadership after the 2014 election and then again as the sophomore representative after the 2016 election.

And, yes, Walters has endorsed Diep.

Here’s the full text of the Diep’s announcement:

Councilman Tyler Diep Launches Campaign for 72nd Assembly District
Diep Enters Race with Significant Momentum: $260k COH & Key Endorsement

(Westminster, CA) – Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep announced today that he is running for State Assembly.

The announcement comes after 72nd District Assemblyman Travis Allen opted to vacate the seat in 2018 to run for Governor. Allen has endorsed Diep’s campaign to succeed him in the Assembly.

“Tyler is the right person to represent us in the State Assembly,” said Assemblyman Allen. “He is a dedicated public servant and has a proven record of fighting higher taxes and job killing regulations.”

Councilman Diep will begin the campaign with significant campaign resources – he will transfer approximately $260,000 from his council campaign account to his assembly race.

“I am passionate about public service, my community and fighting to make Orange County a better place to raise a family and start a business,” said Diep. “I look forward to taking my experience in Orange County to Sacramento and between now and election day I’ll work hard to earn the vote of every neighborhood in the 72nd district.”

The 72nd District includes all of Westminster, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, a portion of Huntington Beach and the unincorporated county island of Midway City.

Axiom Strategies will serve as general consultants for Diep’s campaign, John Bovee of Capital Development Strategies will assist Diep with fundraising, and Lysa Ray will serve as his treasurer.

Diep was first elected to the Westminster City Council in 2008.  He has been a strong taxpayer advocate, is committed to job creation and supporting small businesses by keeping taxes low, and has prioritized hiring more police officers and road repair while on the city council.  He also serves as Director of the Midway City Sanitary District and works for the State Board of Equalization where he helps small businesses navigate through the bureaucracy of the IRS and Franchise Tax Board.

To learn more about Diep and his campaign, please visit: www.TylerDiep.com

###

(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Garden Grove Councilwoman Thu-Ha Nguyen, Garden Grove School Board Member Dina Nguyen, Garden Grove School Board Member Lan Quoc Nguyen, Westminster School Board Member Frances Nguyen, or Westminster School Board Member Khanh Nguyen.  The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 72nd Assembly District, Westminster | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CD-45: Walters vs. Raths – The Rematch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 6, 2016

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) and Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo)

2016 seems to be shaping up to be the year of the rematch.  Yesterday, I wrote about Assemblyman Don Wagner challenging Senator John Moorlach in the 2016 Primary Election for the 37th State Senate District after Moorlach prevailed over Wagner in the 2015 Special Election for that same seat.

On the same day that Wagner submitted his application for an OC GOP endorsement for the 37th Senate District (nearly a month after Moorlach submitted his application), Councilman Greg Raths (R-Mission Viejo) pulled papers to challenge Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) in the 2016 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District after Walters prevailed over Raths in the 2014 Primary Election for that same seat.

(Ironically, it was the election of Walters to the 45th Congressional District that caused the 2015 Special Election for the 37th Senate District that sent Moorlach to the Senate.)

In the 2014 election, the four candidates were California State Senator Mimi Walters (R), Educator/Businessman Drew E. Leavens (D), Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths (R), and Buena Park Library District Trustee Al Salehi (NPP).

(Why Salehi ran for Congress in a district that does not include his city of residence of Buena Park, I’ll never understand.  I wrote extensively on Salehi’s perennial bid for offices in my post on his latest bid for office in the February 9 Special Election for North Orange County Community College District.)

Walters easily defeated Leavens, Raths, and Salehi:

Vote Count Percentage
MIMI WALTERS (R) 39,631 45.1%
DREW E. LEAVENS (D) 24,721 28.1%
GREG RATHS (R) 21,284 24.2%
AL SALEHI (NPP) 2,317 2.6%

In the 2014 election, Walters spent nearly $1,200,000 while Raths spent $267,000.  Leavens spent $2,150, yet Salehi didn’t even open a committee.

As of September 30, Walters had more than $616,000 cash-on-hand in her Congressional campaign account.  Raths has no cash on hand, as he had terminated his Congressional committee in May and has not started a new one.

After losing the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District, Raths successfully won a seat on the Mission Viejo City Council in the 2014 General Election.

Consequently, while the 2014 Primary Election for the 45th Congressional District featured State Senator Walters vs. Retired Colonel Raths, the 2016 Primary Election has Congresswoman Walters vs. Councilman Raths.

In the 2012 Primary, then-Congressman John Campbell (R) still captured 51% of the vote against Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang (D), who got 33%, and Small Business Owner John Webb (R), who got 16%. Campbell opted not to seek re-election in 2014, thereby creating the opening for Walters to run.  Kang termed out as Mayor of Irvine in 2012 and is now running against Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar) for the 29th Senate District, which does not include any portion of the City of Irvine.

Posted in 45th Congressional District, Mission Viejo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

SD-37: Moorlach vs. Wagner – The Rematch

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 5, 2016

Senator John M. W. Moorlach and Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner

Senator John M. W. Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) and Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner (R-Irvine)

Rumors had swirled for months that Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine) would challenge Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) for the 37th Senate District this year.  Former Supervisor Moorlach had defeated Assemblyman Wagner for the seat just ten months ago by a margin of 50.3%-44.0% in the March 2015 special election to complete the unexpired term of State Senator Mimi Walters, who had been elected to the United States House of Representatives.

Wagner has taken a very public step toward challenging Moorlach to a rematch in 2016.  On December 7, Moorlach had submitted his application to the Republican Party of Orange County for an endorsement for re-election for the 37th Senate District. Then, yesterday, January 4, Wagner submitted his application for an OC GOP endorsement for the 37th Senate District.

Both applications will be considered at the OC GOP Central Committee meeting on January 18.  The OC GOP states: “All Republican candidates running for election in [the 37th Senate District] are invited to participate in a candidate forum that will be held during the January Central Committee meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 PM.”

The format will be: “Each candidate will be allowed three (3) minutes to present why they should be endorsed. And, in keeping with tradition, we will allow three speakers in favor and three opposed to speak for one (1) minute. The candidate will be allowed one (1) minute to address any issues raised by opponents of the endorsement.”

Otherwise, it should be a quiet January 18 Central Committee meeting, with Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Darrell Issa, Assemblyman Bill Brough, and Assemblyman Matthew Harper all filed applications for endorsement of their respective re-elections in time for the January 4 application deadline for OC GOP endorsements for partisan seats in the Primary Election. Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang‘s bid for the 29th Senate District and Assemblywoman Young Kim‘s bid for re-election were already endorsed in December.

The OC GOP endorsement application deadline for nonpartisan seats in the Primary Election (County Supervisors and County Board of Education Trustees) is January 11, though Supervisor Andrew Do‘s bid for re-election was already endorsed in December.

An incumbent holding partisan office has not been denied the OC GOP endorsement since John Campbell fell one vote short of the 2/3 needed for an endorsement when John Webb challenged him (two of OC Political’s earliest posts).

In the March 2015 special election for the 37th Senate District, Wagner spent $493,000 while Moorlach spent $276,000.  Despite this significant funding differential of nearly 2:1, Moorlach still won the Senate seat.

As of the June 30 campaign finance reports, Moorlach had $31,299.92 in cash-on-hand across two committees (Moorlach for Senate 2015 and Moorlach for Senate 2016) while Wagner had $84,416.71 cash-on-hand across three committees (Wagner for Senate 2016, Wagner for Assembly 2014, Wagner for Attorney General 2018).

Presumably, Democrat Louise Stewardson, who ran as a write-in candidate in March 2015 will file for the ballot in June 2016.

No word on if the hilarious Naz Namazi, “Naz, N-A-Z, Naz…a legal immigrant,” will be running again to challenge “a liar and a hypocrite” for this seat.

Winner by City in the 37th Senate District Special Election

The ever-popular “Winner by city or unincorporated area in the 37th Senate District Special Election” map.  See this map in its original glory here. (Note: the sizes of Moorlach’s and Wagner’s heads have nothing to do with their vote margin in that community, it’s just the geographic size of the community that did it.  Laguna Woods and Laguna Beach are very oddly-shaped cities.)

Posted in 37th Senate District, Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

AD-73: Petrilla Has Double Cash-on-Hand of All Opponents Combined, Bryson & Brough Nearly Tied, Glaab Deep in Debt

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 27, 2014

I’m pretty much going to quote my opening paragraph from my January post on the AD-73 race because it serves to remind us of this chaotic year:

Next up in OC Political’s ongoing in-depth analysis of campaign finance figures is the race for the 73rd Assembly District seat being vacated by the termed out Diane Harkey, who is running for the Board of Equalization seat being vacated by the termed out Michelle Steel, who is running for the Second District Supervisor’s seat being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach, who is running for the 45th Congressional District seat being vacated by John Campbell, who voluntarily retired.  (That incredibly long sentence demonstrates a recurring theme in 2014…)

Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

The four Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

I’ll also quote the second paragraph from my January post:

There are four announced Republican candidates in AD-73: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla, Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough, Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Anna Bryson, and former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Glaab.  One Democrat, Attorney and Irvine Valley College Professor Wendy Gabriella, has announced for the race.  Gabriella’s entry in the race virtually guarantees a Republican vs. Democrat general election, with the Republican winning handily and spareing South County Republicans an AD-73 general election intraparty bloodbath.

What can I say?  Conditions in AD-73 have been fairly stable.  The announced candidates are exactly the same candidates who qualified for the ballot.  Now on to the latest numbers, which really haven’t moved all that much…

Petrilla’s fundraising slowed in this reporting period ($15,824, second behind Bryson), but his dominant lead ($104,839) from 2013 maintained his position as the AD-73 candidate with the most money raised, with $120,663.  He was the only candidate who raised more than he spent in this reporting period with his $15,228 in expenditures. This brings his total overall spending to just $23,410, and his tight-fisted spending has him actually fourth in expenditures.  Consequently, he has nearly $100,000 cash-on-hand, once loans and unpaid bills are accounted for, with $97,577, to be exact.  Republican Bryson, Republican Brough, and Democrat Gabriella have a combined $49,561 in that category (about half Petrilla’s figure), though adding the deeply-in-debt Republican Glaab leaves Petrilla’s opponents at a combined $14,550, which would mean Republican Petrilla has almost seven times the combined cash-on-hand of his opponents.  It’s not unreasonable to leave Glaab out and note that Petrilla has twice the combined cash-on-hand of his non-indebted opponents.  The biggest question is: why is Petrilla hoarding his money?  I think the most logical conclusion is that Petrilla plans to dominate the AD-73 direct mail.

Bryson raised more than her opponents this reporting period with $29,822, but she spent more than she took in, spending $32,514.  She also has $14,279 in unpaid bills.  Plus, she still lags behind Petrilla in overall funds raised.  She spent half her money on her consultants.  It’s not that her consultants are charging exorbitant rates – it’s simply that she has numerous consultants.  She’s raised $114,965 overall but already spent $75,224; after accounting for that $14,279 in unpaid bills, Bryson is left with just $25,463 cash on hand, assuming she has no plans to spend her $69,600 loan.  Her consulting fees are quickly eating up her once-sizeable warchest.

Bob Dole with AD-73 Candidate Bill Brough

Bob Dole with AD-73 Candidate Bill Brough earlier this month

Brough raised $10,297 this reporting period, bringing his total funds raised to $61,240.  He spent $18,084 this reporting period, bringing his total spending to $39,744.  He has a healthy mix of spending, with no one area jumping out to dominate his spending. He remains the candidate with the smallest loans, by far, at just $100.  He, Petrilla, and Gabriella have no unpaid bills.  Among AD-73 candidates, Brough definitely has the most interesting campaign contributor, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who was the Republican nominee for President in 1996.  The Brough campaign had announced the Dole endorsement two weeks ago, and Dole gave Brough’s campaign $500.

Glaab raised $8,899 this reporting period, bringing his total funds raised from other people to $36,985.  However, he also donated $22,000 to his campaign in 2013 (not loaned, but truly donated), bringing his total funds raised up to $58,985.  He spent $40,053 this reporting period, bringing his total expenditures to $90,072, the highest level of expenditures of any candidate in AD-73.  While Glaab has a mix of spending, he has spent a fortune on slate mailers.  With the least raised and most spent among the Republican candidates (even after accounting for his self-contribution of $22,000), Glaab is deeply in debt, to the tune of $35,011.  He’s clearly banking on the slate mailer strategy for this race, but he didn’t secure all the slates.

On slates, in my January post, I said, “Glaab secured the vast majority of slate mailers.  There are five major slate vendors, with Glaab grabbing three of them, including the two vendors who produce the most slate mailers.  Bryson grabbed one vendor.  It appears the fifth vendor is up for grabs still.”  Well, Brough has since nabbed the fifth vendor.  Slate mailers are now divided in this race, with three candidates nabbing the major slates, though Glaab has the lion’s share.

Nothing new regarding loans or candidate self-funding, so here’s the paragraph from my January post on that:

Here at OC Political, we’ve railed repeatedly against the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  (These loans of $100,000 or less are frequently used by candidates to artificially inflate their warchest numbers.  While OC Political has many posts about those, this one is probably the seminal post on the issue.)  I will give Paul Glaab credit for actually spending his own money. Glaab put his money where his mouth is, and donated $22,000 to his own campaign beyond the $100,000 loan he made to his campaign.  State campaign finance regulations put that $22,000 forever out of Glaab’s reach; it is nonrefundable, and he must spend it on the campaign.  Glaab was well aware of this regulation and properly reported the $22,000 as a contribution, not a loan.

Democrat Wendy Gabriella raised $4,592 this reporting period, bringing her total funds raised to $16,703.  She spent $9,507 this reporting period, bringing her total expenditures to $14,089.  (Interestingly, top fundraiser Petrilla’s spending is so low that his expenditure levels are closer to dead-last fundraiser Gabriella’s than to any of his Republican opponents.)  With no unpaid bills and a candidate loan of $1,196, Gabriella’s cash-on-hand is $2,614.

Here’s the chart:

Candidate 2013
Contrib.
1/1/14-
3/17/14
Contrib.
Candidate
Contrib.
Total
Contrib.
Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
2013
Expend.
1/1/14-
3/17/14
Expend.
Total
Expend.
Cash-
on-Hand
(COH)
COH
Minus
Unpaid
Bills
COH
Minus
Unpaid
Bills &
Loans
Petrilla $104,839 $15,824 $0 $120,663 $3,500 $0 $8,182 $15,228 $23,410 $101,077 $101,077 $97,577
Bryson $85,143 $29,822 $0 $114,965 $69,600 $14,279 $42,710 $32,514 $75,224 $109,342 $95,063 $25,463
Brough $50,943 $10,297 $0 $61,240 $100 $0 $21,660 $18,084 $39,744 $21,584 $21,584 $21,484
Glaab $28,086 $8,899 $22,000 $58,985 $100,000 $3,925 $50,019 $40,053 $90,072 $68,914 $64,989 -($35,011)
Gabriella $12,111 $4,592 $0 $16,703 $1,196 $0 $4,582 $9,507 $14,089 $5,693 $5,693 $2,614
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-March 17, 2014 were due Monday.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AD-73: Petrilla Maintains Fundraising Lead, Brough Net Positive, Bryson Spending Big, Glaab in Debt

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 5, 2014

Next up in OC Political’s ongoing in-depth analysis of campaign finance figures is the race for the 73rd Assembly District seat being vacated by the termed out Diane Harkey, who is running for the Board of Equalization seat being vacated by the termed out Michelle Steel, who is running for the Second District Supervisor’s seat being vacated by the termed out John Moorlach, who is running for the 45th Congressional District seat being vacated by John Campbell, who voluntarily retired.  (That incredibly long sentence demonstrates a recurring theme in 2014.  Between AD-55, AD-73, AD-74, SD-34, CD-45, the Second Supervisorial District, the Fifth Supervisorial District, and possibly SD-36, there isn’t a single place in Orange County without a major competitive race at some point this year.)

Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

Republican AD-73 Candidates: Jesse Petrilla, Anna Bryson, Bill Brough, Paul Glaab

There are four announced Republican candidates in AD-73: Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Jesse Petrilla, Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough, Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Anna Bryson, and former Laguna Niguel Councilman Paul Glaab.  One Democrat, Attorney and Irvine Valley College Professor Wendy Gabriella, has announced for the race.  Gabriella’s entry in the race virtually guarantees a Republican vs. Democrat general election, with the Republican winning handily and spares South County Republicans an AD-73 general election intraparty bloodbath.

For a walk down memory lane, here’s what I wrote six months ago after the last set of campaign finance numbers came out in AD-73.  On to the latest numbers…

Jesse Petrilla held on to his fundraising lead, but more notably, his massive lead from the previous fundraising period combined with his tight-fisted approach to spending has given him more cash-on-hand than all of his opponents combined.  He raised $69,230 the prior period and $35,609 this latest period, giving him a total raised of $104,839.  He spent a remarkably low $8,182 in both periods combined.  Once loans and unpaid bills are accounted for, Petrilla’s $96,593 cash on hand exceeds that of all of his opponents combined.

While not as dramatic as Petrilla, Bill Brough is steadily building his warchest and is spending less than he’s raising, thereby producing a net positive.  Brough raised $50,943, with $30,899 from the prior period and $20,044 this period while spending $16,345 this period (and $5,315 the prior period), leaving him with $29,270 cash on hand once loans are accounted for (Brough was the sole candidate who had no unpaid bills in AD-73.)

Anna Bryson spent slightly more than she took in during the latest reporting period in the second half of 2013, so she’s eaten into the money she raised in the prior reporting period from the first half of 2013.  Fees dominated her spending.  She paid a consulting firm, two fundraising firms, and a treasurer.  Bryson raised $85,143, with $53,052 the prior period and $32,091 in the latest period while spending $32,140 in this period (and $10,570 the prior period), leaving her with $37,433 cash on hand once loans and unpaid bills are accounted for.

Here at OC Political, we’ve railed repeatedly against the $100,000 paper tiger loans.  (These loans of $100,000 or less are frequently used by candidates to artificially inflate their warchest numbers.  While OC Political has many posts about those, this one is probably the seminal post on the issue.)  I will give Paul Glaab credit for actually spending his own money.  Glaab put his money where his mouth is, and donated $22,000 to his own campaign beyond the $100,000 loan he made to his campaign.  State campaign finance regulations put that $22,000 forever out of Glaab’s reach; it is nonrefundable, and he must spend it on the campaign.  Glaab was well aware of this regulation and properly reported the $22,000 as a contribution, not a loan.

Glaab secured the vast majority of slate mailers.  There are five major slate vendors, with Glaab grabbing three of them, including the two vendors who produce the most slate mailers.  Bryson grabbed one vendor.  It appears the fifth vendor is up for grabs still.

However, this massive spending has left Glaab as the only candidate in debt.

Glaab raised $13,337 this period and $14,749 the prior period, for a total of $28,086.  Adding his own $22,000, that brings that figure to $50,086, which is still the lowest amount raised of any of the four candidates.  He spent a negligible $470 the prior period and $49,549 in this latest period.  His aggregate $50,019 was the most spent of any of the four candidates.  With the least raised and most spent, Glaab has heavily relied on his self-funding.  Once unpaid bills and loans are accounted for, Glaab is $6,617 in debt.

Here’s the chart:

Candidate 1/1/13-6/30/13
Contributions
7/1/13-12/31/13
Contributions
Candidate
Contributions
Candidate
Loans
Unpaid
Bills
1/1/13-6/30/13
Expenditures
7/1/13-12/31/13
Expenditures
Cash on Hand
(COH)
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
COH Minus
Unpaid Bills
& Loans
Petrilla $69,230 $35,609 $0 $3,500 $388 $3,622 $4,560 $100,481 $100,093 $96,593
Bryson $53,052 $32,091 $0 $69,600 $5,000 $10,570 $32,140 $112,033 $107,033 $37,433
Brough $30,899 $20,044 $0 $100 $0 $5,315 $16,345 $29,370 $29,370 $29,270
Glaab $14,749 $13,337 $22,000 $100,000 $6,685 $470 $49,549 $100,068 $93,383 -($6,617)
Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.

Campaign finance reports for January 1-June 30, 2013 were due last week.

Posted in 73rd Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

OC Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen Fundraiser, Thursday, October 3

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on September 24, 2013

This came over the wire from the Hugh Nguyen for Clerk-Recorder 2014 campaign…

Hugh Nguyen

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