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Posts Tagged ‘Shawn Nelson’

Live from the 39th Congressional District Debate

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 29, 2018

We are live from the 39th Congressional District debate sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce at the Fullerton Community Center, which has a parking lot that is ill-equipped to handle this large a crowd though there is plenty of seating inside the venue. The debate is moderated by Rick Reiff, host of Inside OC and editor-at-large of the Orange County Business Journal.

There are six candidates participating:

  • Small Business Owner Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), a former State Senate Republican Leader
  • Clean Energy Businessman Sam Jammal (D-Fullerton), whose original ballot designation of “Civil Rights Attorney” was subjected to litigation
  • Small Business Owner Young Kim (R-Fullerton), a former State Assemblywoman
  • Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton)
  • Nonprofit Advisor/Businessman Andy Thorburn (D-Villa Park), whose original ballot designation of “Healthcare Educator/Entrepreneur” was subjected to litigation
  • Doctor/Mother/Teacher Mai-Khanh Tran (D-Yorba Linda)

The debate organizers did not indicate how many candidates were invited.

6:42 PM: Opening Statements

Bob Huff notes his list of elected offices as Senate Republican Leader, Assemblyman, and City Council. He wants to keep a strong military, secure borders, and cut the fat from the budget. He says his record shows he has fought taxes and kept a lid on tax increases when he was a Senator.

Sam Jammal notes he grew up in the district. He says people are being cut out of the definition of being American. He is the son of immigrants. He talks about living the American Dream. He speaks of working in a La Habra restaurant, the Brea Mall, and the Obama Administration. He wants a more welcoming America.

Young Kim says she has lived the American Dream as an immigrant from South Korea. She worked in the private sector after college. Then she went to work for Ed Royce. She notes that she represented the district working for Royce. She notes her election broke the Democratic supermajority in the Assembly. She says she has a pro-business record and agenda.

Shawn Nelson notes Fullerton is his hometown. He speaks of working with Sharon Quirk-Silva to build the building the debate is being held in. He notes that he served on the City Council and is now Supervisor. He speaks of his record with the Bridges at Kraemer Place homeless shelter and freeway improvements. He wants to reinforce American values. He proposes making education expenses fully tax deductible.

Andy Thorburn says high ethics and an orderly administration are American values that are lost. He wants an inclusive society. He has been a teacher, union organizer, and international businessman. His business is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce. He was a speaker at a Chamber conference in Belgrade. He has owned a business since he was 28. He went through paying student loans and going through bankruptcy.

Mai-Khanh Tran is running because of her two daughters. She was a refugee who came to a country that was warm, receiving, and caring. She fears that is not the current America. She built her own medical practice. She wants to provide health care for all.

6:54 PM: Rick Reiff asks the candidates to state their position on the tax reform bill in 90 seconds.

Jammal would have opposed the bill for increasing the deficit, targeting large corporations instead of small businesses, and removing the individual health care mandate. He would have proposed a small business and middle business tax cut plan instead.

Kim said it was a step in the right direction. It had child care tax credits. It is already bringing businesses back from overseas. It cut taxes for all people. She would have removed the limitation on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction and made the middle class tax cuts permanent. She says the plan will help provide jobs and help the middle class.

Nelson says corporate tax reform was necessary to bring companies back to the U.S. from overseas. He notes the pay raises and bonuses that companies are giving out. He says it is unfortunate California has such high state and local taxes. He would have had the SALT limit indexed, so it would at least increase from inflation.

Thorburn would have opposed the tax bill. He says 2/3 went to high earners and corporations with only 1/3 going to middle and low income earners. He says it increased the deficit. He says it lowered tax rates on the highest earners. He says it increased the estate tax exemption to $22 million.

Tran says the bill benefited large corporations disproportionately over working families and small businesses. She says the SALT limit burdens state and local governments, threatening education, public safety, and housing programs. She says California is disproportionately affected by the mortgage interest deduction limit.

Huff says the bill was good for the nation overall and improved the economy, averting a downturn. He notes big corporations employ people, and they gave raises and bonuses. Huff says he would have opposed the tax reform bill because it harmed California too much. He points to the mortgage interest deduction. He wanted a slightly higher tax on corporations.

7:04 PM: Reiff asks about tariffs, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and NAFTA. 90 second answers.

Kim is a trade proponent and fears a trade war. She notes American allies are retaliating due to the tariffs. She wants us to work with our allies, not fighting them. She says she is very pro-trade and wants to trade with other nations.

Nelson says free trade requires fairness. He says the U.S. has been too willing to be a punching bag and look the other way to avoid trade wars. He blasts international economic espionage. He argues the U.S. needs to argue from a position of strength, not weakness. He says Trump is an unusual negotiator but is an effective one. He says people are already backing off on tariffs, and China will negotiate with the U.S.

Thorburn says international trade is complex. He says the administration has dealt with U.S. allies completely wrongly. He calls for resuming multilateral trade, instead of bilateral trade agreements. He notes steel tariffs harm 5 jobs for every 1 job saved. He calls for reducing trade barriers and engaging with other countries. As an international businessman, he sought amicable agreements, not threatening those he would trade with.

Tran says free trade is a key part of America’s economic growth. She opposes starting a global trade war and says Trump’s tariffs would harm the U.S. She notes the stock market has fallen since the announcement of the tariffs.

Huff notes many jobs have moved from California to Mexico. He says NAFTA should be revisited periodically, like all business agreements. He opposes the steel tariffs for harming more people than it helps. He agrees pushing China on intellectual property theft but would have tried diplomacy first.

Jammal says he worked in the Obama Administration but TPP was negotiated in secret and was only for large corporations. He wants trade agreements to include small businesses. He says three candidates would not stand up to Trump. He says he would not support TPP.

7:15 PM: Reiff asks about Trump’s rollback of regulations and Obama executive orders. 60 second answers.

Nelson says cutting regulations is the second most impactful thing Trump has done other than appointing a Supreme Court Justice. He wants low barriers to entry. He wants government to get out of the way of business to innovate and invent.

Thorburn calls for neither more or less regulation but rather efficient regulation. He wants government to protect clean air, safe drugs, and safe food. He opposes Trump environmental regulation rollbacks.

Tran wants to effectively provide her services, take care of her employee wages and benefits, and make a profit. She supports regulations that help that mission and opposes those that do not. She supports Thorburn’s efficient regulation philosophy.

Huff applauds Trump because regulations stifle creativity, innovation, and job creation. He speaks of Silicon Valley’s innovation relatively free of regulations. He says regulations are cumbersome.

Jammal calls for smart regulations, like clean air and water. He says regulations are about leadership to update old rules. He says neither party would update old regulations for fear of angering business. He says three candidates have never said no to lobbyists.

Kim says California is over-regulated and heavily taxed. She served on the jobs and economic development committee in the Assembly. She worked with the Democratic chair and found that businesses felt they were overregulated. She wants a business-friendly environment.

7:24 PM: Reiff asks the candidates about what one idea they each have for infrastructure.

Thorburn calls for more infrastructure spending via a segregated fund consisting of all the new tax revenue from companies returning from overseas and via savings from a Medicare for All plan. He says GDP is wasted on health care in our current system.

Tran wants to repair crumbling infrastructure, which would also create jobs. She says Trump’s proposal is infeasible. She wants to cut departmental waste. She wants to close military bases recommended by the Department of Defense. She wants to do more audits of government spending.

Huff says spending is a statement of priorities. Infrastructure needs to be a priority, not an excuse for tax increases. He blasts the California gas tax and VLF increase. He notes transportation money was being used for non-transportation purposes. He wants California to stop being a donor state and would bring federal dollars back to California.

Jammal blasts the deterioration of Fullerton roads. He blasts three candidates for presiding over that. He says they need to fix the 57/60 interchange. He wants a modern electrical grid, electric car chargers, and cybersecurity. He would also cities what they need. He would stop buying F18 fighter jets. He would look for efficiencies in government.

Kim served on the Assembly Transportation Committee. She blasts high-speed rail. She says Sacramento and Washington spend too much, including grabbing transportation dollars for pet projects, like high-speed rail. She says high-speed rail money should be redirected for roads instead. She would use public-private partnerships.

Nelson notes serving as a member and Chairman of OCTA. He notes OC has the best freeway system in California. He says OCTA has spent efficiently and expanded every freeway in OC in the last eight years. He notes Orange County Water District has a AAA credit rating. He calls for government loans for infrastructure.

7:34 PM: Reiff asks if the candidates support high-speed rail: yes or no.

Thorburn, Tran, Jammal: Yes

Huff, Kim, Nelson: No

7:35 PM: Reiff asks for 90 second statements on immigration.

Tran notes she is an immigrant and that immigrants are part of the fabric of America’s culture and economy. She wants a pathway to citizenship for DACA. She wants comprehensive immigration reform. She wants to streamline legal immigration, including family reunification. She wants to expedite visas. She wants to secure the border without a wall.

Huff says there is a big distinction between “legal and undocumented immigration.” His wife is an immigrant. He calls for more secure border controls, similar to those on roads and at airports. He noted September 11, guns, drugs, and other things that resulted from porous borders. He wants a solution for DACA that does not include deportation.

Jammal says undocumented immigration from Mexico is decreasing. He does not want to demonize immigrants. He blasts Nelson for the Board of Supervisors vote on the sanctuary state lawsuit. He notes that immigrants are a key part of society and the economy. He wants a path to citizenship. He believes the border crisis is a fictional crisis.

Kim notes she is an immigrant. She wants a DACA fix. She does not want them to live in fear of deportation. She says DACA beneficiaries are making America great by creating jobs and bringing diversity. She wants a humane solution. She wants to revisit broken immigration laws humanely. She does not want to demonize immigrants. She wants a pathway to citizenship.

Nelson says the U.S. is a nation of immigrants and a nation if laws. He says Obama provided a smaller DACA solution than Trump did. He says the U.S. should not tolerate a porous border. He says no nation should tolerate that. He noted the 1980s amnesty failed to secure the border. He wants strict border controls with more generous legal immigration. Nelson notes the Board of Supervisors action dealt only with incarcerated illegal immigrants.

Thorburn says 4-5 candidates are calling for comprehensive immigration reform. He says Democrats need to take control of the House because Republicans control all branches of government. He opposes demonizing immigrants. He opposes banning Muslims. He wants a thoughtful manner with planning. He says immigrants contribute to the economy and commit fewer crimes. He says the immigration crisis is fictional. He says the border needs minor adjustments.

7:47 PM: Reiff asks if the candidates favor a DACA fix. All six raise their hands.

Reiff asks if the candidates support the Board of Supervisors action on the sanctuary state lawsuit. Huff, Kim, and Nelson raise their hands.

7:48 PM: Reiff asks about the Affordable Care Act, universal health care, and single-payer health care.

Huff says Obamacare was flawed with rising costs and higher deductibles. He calls for insurance portability and medical bill simplification. He opposes the individual mandate as unaffordable for young people. He calls for Health Savings Accounts.

Jammal says Medicare works. He wants to preserve what works. He says the tax reform has a trillion dollar deficit and that Paul Ryan is threatening Medicare and Social Security. He believes in Medicare for All. He wants to lower the Medicare age. He wants to fix ACA with lower prescription drug prices and allow generic drugs. He wants to reduce spending for advertising drugs on TV.

Kim says Obamacare is full of broken promises. He says premiums have increased. He says Medicare for All is a fringe proposal that has no pull in Sacramento or Washington. She calls for fixes but will not support an Obamacare repeal unless there is a comprehensive replacement.

Nelson says Obamacare is based on everyone paying in. He says young people have to pay in to pay for the elderly for it to work. He says young adults, like his children, are overwhelmed and cannot fund the massive Baby Boomer generation. He says you cannot cut services for people who do not use them: young people do not use most health services.

Thorburn says Western Europe is not bankrupt but covers all people. He says the U.S. is inefficient and overpriced. He says 18% of U.S. GDP goes to health care but we have the developed world’s lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality while Europe spends 12%. He calls for a single-payer system.

Tran notes she is a physician and businesswoman. She said premiums soared as she tried to provide health insurance to her employees until the ACA lowered these costs. She wants to improve the ACA by making sure access, affordability, and quality are protected.

7:58 PM: Reiff asks which candidates would support single-payer health care in the long run.

Jamal, Thorburn, and Tran raise their hands.

7:59 PM: Reiff asks about the national debt and notes 2/3 of the budget is entitlements. He prohibits fraud and waste from being answers.

Jammal says the tax reform bill added $1 trillion to the deficit. He says roads and veterans will have less funds. He says climate change is adding costs. Jammal would oppose any cuts to Medicare or Social Security. He calls for government modernization. His bureau saved $1 million by printing on both sides of the paper. He wants to repeal the tax reform bill.

Kim says there is a spending problem in Sacramento and Washington. She wants to cut regulations to allow business to grow and deliver more tax revenue. She says veterans deserve to be taken care of.

Nelson says it is not an easy fix. He says it is infeasible to have an immediate balanced budget without unacceptable cuts. He proposes spending freezes instead. He opposes the U.S. borrowing money to give money to other nations. He compares it to maxing out credit cards to give gifts to friends.

Thorburn says the tax bill is borrowed money funded by bonds and is being given to corporations. He says stimulus spending generates a one-year deficit increase but long term deficit decreases. He notes Clinton was the last budget surplus. He wants to repeal the tax reform bill.

Tran says the tax reform bill gave too much to corporations. She says the elderly, the sick, and children are shouldering it. She wants to shift priorities away from war and military spending. She wants to make cuts in the Department of Defense. She wants to shift priorities from the military to seniors and education.

Huff says the deficit will be shouldered by the next generation if action is not taken. He believes a balanced budget amendment is necessary. He calls for Congress to not be paid if they do not pass the budget timely, like the Legislature. He notes while Republicans in Congress are being accused of being the problem, he notes it was Democrats in the Legislature.

8:09 PM: Reiff asks for environmental hand raises.

Jammal, Thorburn, and Tran feel California needs to do more to promote green energy.

Huff, Nelson, and Kim feel environmental regulations are too strict and would also support nuclear energy.

8:11 PM: Closing Statements

Kim says she represented the district for two decades first with Royce and then in the Assembly. She promises to listen to all concerns and represent her district. She wants to give back to the country.

Nelson says Royce’s retirement was a surprise for Republicans. He had to make a rapid decision to run. He did not want a coronation. He worked with all sides to make improvements for Fullerton in 8.5 years on the City Council. He says he has done the same at the County and will do so at the federal level. He calls for nonpartisanship, noting his friendship with Congressman Lou Correa.

Thorburn says he has been both labor and business. He wants inclusion, high ethics, and democracy, which he says the administration is attacking. He wants everyone to have a chance and opportunity.

Tran speaks of her two daughters. She says she is running for families needing health care and women facing sexual violence. She wants to improve ACA and emphasize education. She says she has never run from challenges. She wants to fight for the America she knows and loves for her children.

Huff says local government is nonpartisan, where he served for nine years. He found partisan state government could also work by searching for solutions without poking people in the eye. He plugs his web site.

Jammal grew up in the district, which had good roads and affordable college. He blasts the tax bill. He calls for new leadership. He calls for health reform. He plugs his website.

8:18 PM: Reiff adjourns the debate.

Posted in 39th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

BOS-4: Fullerton Mayor Chaffee Makes Six Candidates

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2018

Candidates for 4th Supervisorial District: Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton), Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Brea), Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim), Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra), Councilwoman Rose Espinoza (D-La Habra), and School Board Member Cynthia Aguirre (D-Brea)

Candidates for 4th Supervisorial District: Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton), Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Brea), Councilwoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim), Mayor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra), Councilwoman Rose Espinoza
(D-La Habra), and School Board Member Cynthia Aguirre (D-Brea)

The free-for-all in the Fourth Supervisorial District finally has an official candidate field, with six people running to succeed the termed out Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), who is running for the open seat in the 39th Congressional District.  Mayor Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) pulled papers on Monday and filed Thursday to become the final candidate in the race.  With that, the six candidates are:

  • Budget Analyst Cynthia Aguirre (D-Brea), who is an elected La Habra City School District Board Member, pulled papers on December 27 and filed on Wednesday
  • Mayor, City of Fullerton Doug Chaffee (D-Fullerton) pulled papers on Monday and filed on Thursday
  • Councilmember Rose Espinoza (D-La Habra) pulled papers on Wednesday (though she had announced in February) and filed on Friday
  • Retired Fire Captain Joe Kerr (D-Brea), who was the founding President of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, pulled papers on February 13 and filed on March 2
  • Anaheim Councilwoman/Businesswoman Lucille Kring (R-Anaheim) pulled papers on February 16 and filed on Monday
  • Mayor/Professor Tim Shaw (R-La Habra) pulled papers on January 22 and filed on Thursday

Kring and Chaffee represent the two largest cities in the district.  Anaheim has more registered voters than any other 4th District city, but once voter propensity is taken into account, Kring’s home of Anaheim and Chaffee’s home of Fullerton have are almost dead even in high-propensity voters, with Anaheim slightly ahead of Fullerton (the City of Anaheim is split between two supervisorial districts, with the highest-propensity voters in the 3rd District).  The homes of the other candidates, Brea and La Habra, are far, far behind, as Anaheim and Fullerton voters combined form the majority of the six-city 4th District.

In the last 100 years, the 4th District has only had Supervisors from 3 Cities: Anaheim, Fullerton, and Orange, but Orange has been redistricted to the 3rd District.  Fullerton has the two most recent Supervisors: Shawn Nelson and Chris Norby.  Anaheim had 3 of the 4 Supervisors before that: Cynthia Coad, Don Roth, and Ralph B. Clark (the 1 they didn’t have was Orange’s Bill Steiner).  Orange had the four Supervisors before the Anaheim streak: William H. Hirstein, Willard Smith, Leon O. Whitsell, and Nelson T. Edwards.

Kerr is the only candidate who has never held elected office, but he also sits atop the largest campaign warchest.  As of the last campaign finance reporting period ending December 31, he had $90,627 cash-on-hand, though with $12,576 in unpaid bills, his cash-on-hand came down to $78,051.  While the other five candidates also wield deep roots in the district, Kerr will have to contend with allegations of carpetbagging, as he only became a Brea resident in 2017 after having resided in Coto de Caza for years.

Shaw had $62,196 cash-on-hand, though with $4,353 in unpaid bills, his cash-on-hand came down to $57,843.

Espinoza had $3,514 cash-on-hand, though she had loaned her campaign $10,000, so her campaign was $6,486 in debt.  I’m surprised she used only “Councilmember” as her ballot designation, as “Councilmember/Non-Profit Director” would have enhanced her designation, especially since she has used variations of it in prior bids for Supervisor and City Council.  She is the Executive Director of Rosie’s Garage, a non-profit serving at-risk and underprivileged children.

Despite opening a campaign account for Supervisor in 2017, Aguirre did not file a campaign finance report for 2017.  I am at a loss as to why Aguirre picked “Budget Analyst” as her ballot designation.  I have no idea why she thought that was a better ballot designation than her elected office.  Even if she wanted to stick with Budget Analyst, I don’t understand why she didn’t use “Orange County Budget Analyst” since she is a budget analyst for the County government.

Kring and Chafee entered the race after the last campaign finance reporting period.  Each picked a ballot designation with the names of their cities, so they clearly each hope to use their large home cities as bases to propel them into the top two spots for Supervisor.

The Big Four of this race (in alphabetical order) are: Chaffee, Kerr, Kring, and Shaw.  Chaffee and Kring have the biggest name ID while Kerr and Shaw got a head start in fundraising.  Aguirre and Espinoza have neither.

Posted in 4th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breaking News: Brea Councilman Steve Vargas Enters CD-39 Race

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 31, 2018

Steve Vargas

Councilman Steve Vargas (R-Brea)

Councilman Steve Vargas (R-Brea) is entering the race for the 39th Congressional District to succeed the retiring Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), becoming the seventh Republican (and fifth current or former elected official) candidate for the seat.  He faces off against Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton), former Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Councilman Andrew Sarega (R-La Mirada), retired U.S. Navy Commander Mark Gaouette (R-Chino Hills), and perennial candidate John Cullum (R-Placentia).   There are also seven Democrats in the CD-39 race.

With seven candidates from each party, CD-39 is virtually assured a traditional Republican vs. Democrat match-up in November, though candidates can still choose to enter or withdraw until March 14 for CD-39.  (Filing for most Federal, State, and County offices ends March 9, but for those in which a sitting incumbent is neither seeking re-election nor termed out, filing ends March 14. At this point, for seats that cover portions of Orange County, the March 14 deadline appears to apply to CD-39, CD-49, State Treasurer, Board of Equalization, and County Board of Education Trustee Area 5.)

Six of the seven Republicans live in the 39th District.  The sole exception is Sarega, whose entire city of La Mirada is in the 38th District, which is represented by Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Whittier).

As a Brea Councilman, Vargas represents 24,000 of CD-49’s 368,000 voters, or 6.5% of all CD-49 voters.  Currently a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Vargas was first elected to the Brea City Council in 1998.  He was defeated for re-election in 2002.  He subsequently lost bids to the return to the Council in 2006, 2010, and 2012.  In 2014, Brea voters finally returned Vargas to the City Council for a second term.  Vargas’s Council seat is up for election in November, so if he made the top two in the CD-39 race, voters would fill his Council seat in the regular election, but if he failed to make the top two, he could choose to run for re-election to the City Council.

While the City of Brea is small, it has punched above its weight before.  There was a pair of Brea school board members who served together in 1992-1994 when one was finishing up her last two years on the school board while the other was starting his first two years on the school board.  One went on to serve six years on the City Council (1994-2000) while the other went on to serve six years on the Board of Supervisors (1996-2002).  Both went on to serve three terms as Republican members of the State Assembly: Lynn Daucher and Todd Spitzer.

Vargas worked on Spitzer’s Supervisorial staff from 1998-2000.  Vargas lost his 2010 election bid to the City Council by 461 votes to Brett Murdock (D-Brea).  Vargas would return the favor by being one of the three candidates who unseated Mayor Murdock from the Council in 2014.  Murdock is now running for District Attorney against Spitzer and incumbent Tony Rackauckas, whom Vargas has endorsed.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, Brea | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Quirk-Silva Denies Supervisorial Run in Response to Our Story: “Breaking News: Quirk-Silva to Run for Supervisor, Husband for Assembly”

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 10, 2018

9:46 PM update: Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva denies our story, tweeting: “A lot of discussion about Congressional Seat 39, and 4th District Supervisor Seat, in OC.I am honored to get so many requests to run for Congress or Supervisor. A blog just posted false information that I am s [sic] candidate for Supervisor. I am running for re-election to

Reacting to this denial, two of our sources continue to insist that Quirk-Silva made a number of phone calls to potential donors and potential endorsers today about a Supervisorial run.

10:19 PM update: AD-65 challenger Alexandria Coronado responded to Quirk-Silva’s tweet: “it’s good 2 know u stand by your terrible gas tax vote, and want another 2 years to vote more – I am going to change that! ” and “Assembly, Congress, Supervisor, or any office you run for – the taxpayers will hold you responsible!

Original story below:


Sharon Quirk-Silva

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Multiple sources report to OC Political that Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) is preparing to launch a bid for Fourth District Supervisor to succeed the termed out Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton), who announced yesterday that he is running for the 39th Congressional District seat held by Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who announced his retirement unexpectedly on Monday.  Quirk-Silva is entering the Fourth Supervisorial District race after former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) left the race yesterday in order to run for Royce’s seat.  Former Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) also entered the race for Royce’s seat yesterday.

No word yet on whether Quirk-Silva will clear the field of other Democrats running for Fourth District Supervisor: former firefighters’ union president Joe Kerr, La Habra Councilwoman Rose Espinoza, and La Habra School Board Member Cynthia Aguirre.  La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw remains the sole Republican candidate, but rumors abound of other potential Republican candidates.

Fewer (but still multiple) sources also report that Councilman Jesus Silva (D-Fullerton) will run to replace his wife in the 65th Assembly District.  Silva’s council seat expires in 2020, so if he wins the AD-65 swing seat, the Fullerton Council will appoint his replacement, but if he loses the AD-65 race, then he remains on the Council for at least two more years.  Former Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Alexandria Coronado (R-Cypress) is the only Republican running for AD-65.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District, 65th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breaking News: Shawn Nelson to Take on Young Kim for CD-39 Republican Mantle

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 9, 2018

Cross-posted to OC Daily…

Shawn Nelson

Shawn Nelson

Less than 36 hours after Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) unexpectedly announced his retirement after 13 terms in Congress, there are now two major Republican candidates to succeed him in the 39th Congressional District: former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) who announced her bid early tonight and Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton) who announced his bid late tonight to City News Service.

As OC Political noted this morning in our analysis of potential candidates for CD-39:

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.

Conventional wisdom would have Republicans coalesce behind one candidate.  However, with the top-two primary, having both Kim and Nelson could work (assuming that obscure La Mirada Councilman Andrew Sarega pulls out and perennial candidate John Cullum does not jump in; I would note La Mirada is not in CD-39).

In CD-31 in 2012, with four Democrats and two Republicans running, the top-two primary allowed Congressman Gary Miller and State Senator Bob Dutton to advance to an all-Republican run-off in a tough swing seat.  In CD-39 in 2018, there are currently six Democrats running.

Posted in 39th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Breaking News: Young Kim Enters CD-39 Race with Royce Endorsement

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 9, 2018

Young Kim

Young Kim

Cross-posted to OC Daily…

Less than 36 hours after Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) unexpectedly announced his retirement after 13 terms in Congress, former Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) has entered the race to succeed Royce and dropped out of the race to succeed termed out Supervisor Shawn Nelson (R-Fullerton).

As OC Political noted this morning in our analysis of potential candidates for CD-39:

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).

The switch to Congress was so quick that Kim’s campaign committee does not yet have a Federal Election Commission (FEC) ID number, as seen by the disclaimer at the bottom of her web site:

Paid for by Young Kim for Congress. FEC ID# C00XXXXXX

In endorsing Kim, Royce said:

“We have an opportunity to elect an outstanding community leader to Congress – Young Kim. I can attest to Young’s dedication and abilities because she worked for me for almost 20 years, serving as a key advisor and community liaison. She knows our district, its people and its needs. She is a tireless and dedicated public servant. In Congress, Young will be an effective voice for middle class families and for policies that keep our country secure, grow jobs and increase economic opportunities for the people of our 39th district.”

The question now is: will Kim clear the field of any other Republicans, or will another formidable Republican jump in?  Conventional wisdom would have Republicans coalesce behind one candidate.  However, with the top-two primary, there is a scenario where two Republican candidates could work well.

In CD-31 in 2012, with four Democrats and two Republicans running, the top-two primary allowed Congressman Gary Miller and State Senator Bob Dutton to advance to an all-Republican run-off in a tough swing seat.  In CD-39 in 2018, there are currently six Democrats running.

Posted in 39th Congressional District, 4th Supervisorial District | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

CD-39: Which Republican Will Run for Ed Royce’s Seat?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 9, 2018

Cross-posted to OC Daily…

Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)

Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton)

A political earthquake shook Orange County yesterday afternoon when Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) unexpectedly announced that he would not be running for re-election this year.  First elected to the California State Senate in 1982 and to the United States House of Representatives in 1992, Royce is the longest currently-serving elected official in partisan office in Orange County (and the third-longest currently-serving elected official in the County as a whole*).

There is a running joke in political circles that there must be Royce is secretly twins or triplets because of his ability to be in two or three places at once in his district.  Royce always kept a jam-packed calendar whenever he was returned to the district from Washington, DC.  His hard work in the district managed to allow him to win by double-digit margins in this swing district.  He developed his work ethic from his first election when he won a swing seat in the State Senate.  In every campaign for re-election to Congress, Royce would set up one of the largest campaign apparatuses in Orange County.  Royce also currently has the largest campaign warchest in Orange County, standing at $3.5 million.

So significant is Royce’s strength in the district that when he announced his retirement yesterday, the Cook Political Report moved CD-39 from “Leans Republican” to “Leans Democrat” skipping the “Toss Up” label entirely.

With the unexpected retirement of Royce, an Orange County political institution for over a quarter of a century, North Orange County and Southern Los Angeles County politicians (and perhaps some Chino Hills politicians) from both parties are scrambling to determine if they can run a viable campaign for this seat and if they’re willing to give up their existing seats in 2018.  While six Democrats were challenging Royce for CD-39, none have ever held elected office, so Democrats in elected office in CD-39 are now likely examining the chance to go for an unexpectedly open CD-39.  No Republican elected official was looking at CD-39 since Royce was expected to run for re-election.  Today, let’s look at the Republicans:

Shawn Nelson, Michelle Steel, Bob Huff, Phillip Chen, Ling-Ling Chang, Young Kim

Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Supervisor Michelle Steel, Former Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, Assemblyman Phillip Chen, Former Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang, Former Assemblywoman Young Kim

  • 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.(The Supervisor who represents the second largest chunk of CD-39 behind Nelson is LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, representing 82,000 CD-39 voters, or 22% of the district.  Considering that Hahn just left a safe Democratic Congressional district in 2016 to run for Supervisor, there is zero chance she runs for this seat.  Todd Spitzer, Curt Hagman, Hilda Solis, and Michelle Park Steel split the remainder, and no one expects Spitzer, Hagman, or Solis to run for this seat.)
  • Supervisor Michelle Park Steel is well-known in the large Korean-American community in CD-39 as well as in the district’s large Asian-American community.  She represented the Orange County and San Bernardino County portions of CD-39 when she won two elections to the State Board of Equalization.  Additionally, she is one of Orange County’s most prolific fundraisers and would have little trouble raising the significant sums of money needed to wage a campaign in one of the nation’s top swing seats.  (Of course, millions of dollars will pour into this seat on both sides, from IEs/SuperPACs, DCCC, NRCC, DNC, RNC, but it always helps when the candidate can raise significant sums.)  To run for CD-39, Steel would have to abandon her bid for re-election to the 2nd Supervisorial District, setting off a scramble for that seat.
  • 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.
  • Assemblyman Phillip Chen represents 61% of CD-39 voters, with 225,000 of the 367,000 CD-39 voters also residing in AD-55.  Prior to his election to the Assembly, Chen won two elections to Diamond Bar’s Walnut Valley School Board.  Chen raised several hundred thousand dollars in his unsuccessful 2014 bid for AD-55 and his successful 2016 bid for AD-55.  However, Chen would be giving up a safe Assembly seat for a swing seat in Congress.  Chen is an Assemblyman because his predecessor gave up this safe Assembly seat for a swing seat in the State Senate.  Chen switching to CD-39 would also set off a scramble for AD-55.
  • Speaking of Chen’s predecessor, former Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang represented the same 61% of CD-39 that Chen does.  71% of CD-39 voters may recall Chang’s bid for SD-29 in 2016, when she narrowly lost to now-Senator Josh Newman.  Before her 2014 election to the Assembly, Chang won one election to the Walnut Valley Water Board and two elections to the Diamond Bar City Council.  She raised several hundred thousand dollars in her successful 2014 bid for AD-55 and a whopping $3 million in her unsuccessful 2016 bid for SD-29.  Chang grew up in Diamond Bar and is a graduate of Diamond Bar High School.  Chang is currently in the midst of her bid to be the replacement if Newman is recalled on June 5.  If Chang switched to the Congressional race, it would leave Fullerton Councilman Bruce Whitaker the leading Republican replacement candidate for Newman.  While legally possible to run in both the recall and the Congressional race, it is politically impossible to do so.
  • 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).

Let the games begin!

 

*The longest-serving elected official currently in office in Orange County is Orange County Water District Director Phil Anthony was elected to the Westminster City Council in 1962, Mayor in 1972, County Supervisor in 1976, and water board in 1981, where he’s been ever since.  In second place is Westminster Councilwoman Margie Rice, who was elected to the School Board in 1977, City Council in 1994, Mayor in 2000, and back to the City Council in 2012.

A notable mention is Coast Community College District Trustee Jerry Patterson was elected to the Santa Ana City Council in 1968, Mayor in 1972, and Congress in 1974, but he had a hiatus from elected office from 1984 (when he lost his Congressional seat to Bob Dornan) to 2000 (when he won his current college board seat).  Patterson was elected before Rice and Royce, but his long hiatus places him behind them for years in office.

Posted in 39th Congressional District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Judicial Campaigns: LA Deputy DA Jumps into Nelson-Yellin Race; Defeated HB City Attorney McGrath Jumps into Wagner-Zicbeck Race

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 17, 2016

In a fascinating turn of events that will assuredly cause a run-off election, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Thuy Dinh Pham (who is an Orange County resident despite working for LA County) has entered the race for Superior Court Judge Office No. 40, which currently includes Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Orange County Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin, who is the immediate past president of the Orange County attorneys union.  Former Huntington Beach City Attorney Jennifer McGrath has entered the race for Superior Court Judge Office No. 3, which currently includes Deputy District Attorneys Megan Wagner and Scott Zidbeck.

Office No. 40 – Nelson, Yellin, and Now Pham

Pham’s entry adds a female Vietnamese-American prosecutor to a race already featuring a prosecutor and a County Supervisor, both white men.  In the June primary, Pham will presumably draw the lion’s share of the high-propensity Vietnamese-American vote.  As the only woman on the ballot, Pham will also draw a significant portion of the women’s vote, though she is hampered by the fact that not all voters know Thuy is a woman’s name.  Her entry into the race deals the biggest blow to Yellin since the Deputy District Attorney vote will be split between Pham and Yellin.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson should come in first in June for Office No. 40, but in a race with three major candidates, it is unlikely he can break 50% in the primary, thereby causing a November run-off.  The question is who comes in second: Yellin or Pham?  With identical ballot designations, demographics could become a factor.  Their ballot statements will also play a role.  Will Pham describe her prosecutorial career without mentioning it has been in the LA County DA’s office or will she highlight that fact to try to capitalize on the negative publicity surrounding the Orange County DA’s office?  Pham’s entry has made a contentious race for Judge a complete toss-up.

Office No. 3 – Wagner, Zidbeck, Stein, Philips, and Now McGrath

McGrath has joined, by far, Orange County’s largest field of candidates for Superior Court Judge, which already includes Deputy District Attorneys Wagner and Zidbeck, along with attorneys Andrew Stein and Wayne Philips.

In 2014, McGrath was defeated in her bid for a fourth term as the elected Huntington Beach City Attorney in 2014, losing 56%-44% against Michael Gates.  While she brings the most elected experience of any candidates, she faces a steep uphill battle against two prosecutors, and her name ID outside of Huntington Beach is likely as poor as that of Philips or Stein.  McGrath likely comes in a strong third though due to her Huntington Beach name ID, her ballot statement presumably touting her experience, and the fact that she is one of only two women in the five-person race.

Wagner and Zidbeck should take the top two spots.  Who gets first and who gets second is tougher to predict but largely irrelevant since both would make the November run-off.  With five candidates in the race, including two prosecutors, it is highly unlikely there would not be a run-off.

Wagner is married to Assemblyman Don Wagner.  In 2014, Stein lost a run-off for Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles County against prosecutor Tom Griego.

Fascenelli Out

It appears attorney Fred Fascenelli has not filed the Declaration of Intention form required for candidates for Superior Court Judge by yesterday’s deadline, so he will not be able to continue the filing process for either Office No. 3 or Office No. 40, both of which he had previously pulled papers for.  Fascenelli is married to Villa Park Councilwoman Diana Fascenelli.

All Quiet for Office No. 49 – Murray vs. Martin

In the race for Superior Court Judge Office No. 49, unless one of the candidates fails to complete filing, it will be a head-to-head race between Deputy District Attorney Mike Murray and attorney Thomas E. Martin.

Posted in Orange County | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »