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Democrat Kalmick Defeats Republican Amundson in Seal Beach Council Run-Off

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 31, 2019

Councilman-Elect Joe Kalmick (D-Seal Beach)

On Tuesday, Retired Business Owner Joe Kalmick (D) defeated Small Businessman Peter Amundson (R) in the run-off election for the District 1 Council seat with nearly 65% of the vote.  The Seal Beach City Charter requires a January run-off when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the prior November election.  In the four-candidate race in November, Kalmick won 41% of the vote while Amundson won 28%.

Eight years ago, Kalmick lost the District 1 run-off election to Planning Commissioner Ellery Deaton (R).  Now terming out from the City Council, Deaton endorsed Amundson to succeed her.

Kalmick’s election breaks the Republican majority on the Seal Beach City Council, though it does not deliver a Democratic majority.  The Council goes from 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 1 No Party Preference to 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 1 No Party Preference.

Republicans have a 7% registration advantage in Seal Beach District 1.  The Registrar of Voters began sending out ballots for this election on New Year’s Eve, so ballots started arriving in voters’ mailboxes on January 2.  Ballots can arrive as late as tomorrow and still be counted, but it is impossible that enough ballots would arrive to overturn Kalmick’s landslide lead.

Orange County Register reporter Susan Golding strangely wrote, “the runoff drew big drama and controversy,” simply because a PAC sent a mere two mailers attacking Kalmick.  Weirdly, Golding referred to the PAC as the “California Taxpayer Protection Committee, a conservative fund-raising organization based in Northern California.”  This is an odd description for them, considering the California Taxpayer Protection Committee’s largest donor in 2018 was the Orange County Employees Association, the county’s largest labor union.

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