OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Mendoza’

SD-34: Villa Park’s Tom Umberg to Challenge Janet Nguyen

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 22, 2018

Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)

Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and
former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park)

Yesterday, former Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Villa Park) announced his entry into the race to challenge the re-election bid of Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) in the 34th District.  Unfortunately for Umberg, in a case of unlucky timing, the news of his entry was completely drowned out by the news that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) had introduced a resolution to expel Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia/Buena Park) due to allegations of sexual misconduct against Mendoza.

Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by 23% in the 34th Senate District, and Umberg is already trying to make Trump an issue in the State Senate election by declaring in the second sentence of his announcement: “I am running for State Senate because I believe that our community needs a strong fighter in Sacramento who will stand up to President Trump and his Administration on important issues like health care, immigration, energy, the environment, civil rights, education, and consumer issues.”

Congressman Lou Correa led a list of Umberg’s endorsements by various Democratic elected officials.  Correa was Nguyen’s predecessor in the 34th Senate District seat.  There is no word on if former Councilwoman Gerrie Shipske (D-Long Beach) will continue her bid for the seat or drop out in favor of Umberg.

Umberg’s biography is formidable as a former State Assemblyman, former federal prosecutor, retired Army Colonel, and former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (under Bill Clinton), and former Co-Chair of the U.S. State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (under Barack Obama).

Democrats currently hold a 9% registration advantage over Republicans in the two-county 34th Senate District.  When then-Supervisor Nguyen defeated former Assemblyman Jose Solorio for the seat by 16% in 2014, Democrats held a 5% registration advantage over Republicans.  Additionally, midterm elections have historically resulted strengthened voter turnout for the party opposing the President’s party.  In 2014, with Democrat Barack Obama in office, that produced a bump in voter turnout for Republicans.  In 2018, with Republican Donald Trump in office, that should produce a bump in voter turnout for Democrats.

However, Nguyen is a tough and tireless campaigner, and it is often said in political circles: “Nobody outworks Janet Nguyen.”  Umberg is a daunting opponent, but Nguyen has beaten him before (2007 Supervisorial election, though that seat had dead even political registration with 32.1% of voters registered in each party) and has repeatedly beaten formidable opponents election after election, often as the underdog.  There is no doubt that Umberg will provide a tough challenge, but Nguyen’s experience with arduous campaigns will likely give her a close win in November.

Umberg’s long biography also includes a long record.  The Nguyen campaign likely still has its opposition research file from their 2007 battle with Umberg, who has a voting record of three terms in the State Assembly.  Of course, Umberg is surely assembling a new opposition research file from Nguyen’s 7 years on the Board of Supervisors and 4 years in the State Senate.

Umberg has lost 4 of his last 5 campaigns for office over the last quarter of a century: a 1994 bid for State Attorney General when he lost to incumbent Republican Dan Lungren by 14%, a 2002 bid for the Democratic nomination for Insurance Commissioner when he lost to John Garamendi by 10%, a 2006 bid for the Democratic nomination for 34th Senate District when he lost to Correa by 19%, and a 2007 bid for the 1st Supervisorial District when he came in third by 3% in the legendary Nguyen-Nguyen special election in which Councilwoman Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) defeated School Board Member Trung Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) by the slimmest of margins (Trung Nguyen led by 7 votes after the Registrar’s initial count, Janet Nguyen led by 7 votes after the Registrar’s recount and then by 3 votes after litigation was completed).

Umberg’s sole win in the last 25 years was his 2004 bid for State Assembly, winning by 30% over then-hapless, later controversial Otto Bade.

As of February 5, Umberg was still registered to vote at his home in Villa Park in the district of Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa).

Here’s an excerpt of an Orange County Register story on accusations of Umberg’s carpetbagging from January 2007:

State Sen. Lou Correa, who beat Umberg in the Senate primary and whose vacated supervisor seat Umberg hopes to win, is among those with reservations.

“Everybody seems to think that they can move into central Orange County and they can run for office,” said Correa, who has not endorsed a candidate. “But there are plenty of qualified individuals living in central Orange County that can run for office.”

Nonetheless, Umberg is the best-known candidate, having twice represented much of the district in the Assembly. He’s won the endorsement of the county Democratic Party and four key labor unions.

And many, including some Umberg opponents, downplay residency as an issue.

“I think it is a nonissue,” said veteran consultant Dave Gilliard, who’s representing Umberg opponent Janet Nguyen. “Central Orange County has a history of carpetbagging. There are many better reasons to oppose Umberg.”

There’s also the ever awkward press coverage of his extramarital affair.

Here’s the full text of Umberg’s press release announcing his candidacy:

RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL & FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR TOM UMBERG ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR STATE SENATE

Also Announces Endorsements From U.S. Congressman Lou Correa, State Assemblyman Tom Daly, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, State Senator Betty Karnette (Ret.), and former Long Beach Mayor Robert Foster

SANTA ANA – U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) & former Federal Prosecutor and State Assemblyman Tom Umberg announced today that he is running for State Senate to represent California’s 34th Senate District.

“I am running for State Senate because I believe that our community needs a strong fighter in Sacramento who will stand up to President Trump and his Administration on important issues like health care, immigration, energy, the environment, civil rights, education, and consumer issues,” said Umberg who previously represented the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and Westminster during three terms in the California State Assembly.

Umberg also announced that his candidacy has been endorsed by U.S. Congressman Lou Correa, State Assemblyman Tom Daly, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, State Senator Betty Karnette (Ret.), and former Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

“When Tom served in the Legislature, he was a leader in cutting through partisan bickering to achieve results,” said former State Senator Betty Karnette of Long Beach who served with Umberg in the California Legislature.  “He had an impact.”

Tom Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who has served in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division, with NATO forces in Italy, and as a paratrooper with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, U.S. Army Special Warfare Center, and XVIIIth Airborne Corp. As a JAG officer, he tried over 50 felony cases in Korea, Italy, and the United States.

He was recalled to active military duty in 2004 as a war crimes prosecutor, and in 2009-10 to lead the U.S. military effort to attack corruption within the Afghan Army and Police, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in a combat zone.

As a federal criminal prosecutor he had a 100% conviction rate, trying numerous white collar, civil rights, and gang cases.  He successfully tried over 100 cases to verdict or judgment, including complex matters involving health care, real estate, work place harassment, construction defects, and protection of employee pension plans.

Tom Umberg served three terms in the California Legislature representing central Orange County.  While in the State Assembly, he successfully authored and secured legislative passage of 76 new state laws, brought more than $563 million in state and federal grant funds into Orange County, and assisted more than 2,500 individuals with government red tape and state bureaucracy problems.

In 1997, Umberg was selected by President Bill Clinton to serve as Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).  In this capacity he was responsible for the development and coordination of United States policy to reduce the supply of illegal drugs, including negotiation and coordination with foreign governments to enhance U.S. counter-drug intelligence and interdiction.  In 2011, he was also appointed Co-Chair of the U.S. State Department’s Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

Umberg is a founding partner of Umberg Zipser LLP and previously served as a partner at both Morrison & Foerster and Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and is Chair of the Veterans Treatment Court Committee.

Tom is married to Brigadier General (Ret.) Robin Umberg.  They met while they were on active duty in Korea.  “Tom and I have been proud to serve our country together for over 60 years combined — in the United States and overseas,” said Robin Umberg.

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(Cue my usual Nguyen disclaimer: I am not related to Senator Janet Nguyen or former School Board Member Trung Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Posted in 34th Senate District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New State Legislators Sworn in Today

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 1, 2014

California State CapitolIt’s the first Monday in December of an even year, so California’s new and re-elected state legislators will be sworn in today at 12:00 PM.  27 of 80 Assembly Members (33.75%) and 10 of 40 Senators (25%) will be freshmen.

Republicans picked up enough seats to break the Democratic supermajorities in both houses.

Orange County’s delegation will have proportionally even more freshmen, with 4 out of 7 Assembly Members (57.14%) and 3 of 5 Senators (60%) holding their first terms in their respective houses.

While the new Senators already have their official web sites up, the new Assembly Members do not, presumably waiting for the swearing-in at 12:00 PM.

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Assembly delegation will consist of:

  • Ling-Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), 55th District (far northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – First Term
  • Young Kim (R-Fullerton), 65th District (northwestern Orange County) – First Term
  • Don Wagner (R-Irvine), 68th District (eastern Orange County) – Third Term
  • Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), 69th District (central Orange County) – Second Term
  • Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), 72nd District (Orange County’s northern coast and Little Saigon) – Second Term
  • Bill Brough (R-Dana Point), 73rd District (southern Orange County) – First Term
  • Matt Harper (R-Huntington Beach), 74th District (Orange County’s central coast) – First Term

As of 12:00 PM, Orange County’s Senate delegation will consist of:

  • Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), 29th District (northern Orange County, southeastern LA County, and Chino Hills) – Midway Through Second Term
  • Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), 30th District (Buena Park and portions of LA County)
  • Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), 34th District (central Orange County and portions of Long Beach) – First Term
  • Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), 36th District (southern Orange County and northern San Diego County) – First Term
  • Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), 37th District (eastern Orange County) – Midway Through Second Term

Walters is still a State Senator, as she will not be sworn into the United States Congress until January.

Posted in 29th Senate District, 30th Senate District, 34th Senate District, 36th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 55th Assembly District, 65th Assembly District, 68th Assembly District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 73rd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, State Assembly, State Senate | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Downey Mayor Guerra announces candidacy for State Senate

Posted by Allen Wilson on July 2, 2013

Popular Downey Mayor Mario Guerra announces his candidacy for State Senate in the 32nd SD, which is currently being held by embattled Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello).

The 32nd SD is located in blue collar working class district in Southeastern portion of Los Angeles County which stretches from Montebello and Hacienda Heights in the north and all the way down the 605 Freeway Corridor and dips into Orange County City of Buena Park.

The other announced candidates are former Assemblymembers Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk) and Sally Havice (D-Cerritos) who are familiar faces in Sacramento are pretty much recycled pols who have been there and done that.

Mayor Mario Guerra is a formidable candidate who offers fresh ideas and new leadership that Sacramento desperately needs.

OC Political received the Press Release from Mayor Guerra’s candidacy for State Senate: 

Guerra pledges to focus on fundamentals, run on his record of accomplishment and bring back character and integrity to Sacramento.

Downey, July 2nd – Today Downey’s Mayor Mario Guerra officially announced his candidacy for the 32nd State Senate District. Between now and the election, Guerra intends to run a dynamic campaign across the district sharing his record of accomplishments as Downey’s Mayor as well as ensuring the public that character and integrity are brought back to Sacramento. Supervisor Knabe announced his endorsement and full support of Mario Guerra’s campaign for Senate as well.

“It’s time we focus on fundamentals: good jobs, safe streets and a great education system for our children.” Mayor Guerra’s business attraction program helped to lure notable companies like Porto’s Bakery, Champion Fiat and Raytheon to Downey in the last several years. “I’ve done it in Downey and am excited to do more great things for families across the District,” stated Mayor Mario A.Guerra.

“Since becoming elected I’ve helped initiate the Character Counts program in Downey with great success. As your State Senator, I’ll work to restore the public’s trust in their state government. Public official’s integrity and ethics must be beyond reproach with no exceptions,” continued Guerra.

Today Supervisor Don Knabe also announced his endorsement of Guerra for Senate. He stated, “Mario Guerra is a long-time area resident, who has dedicated countless hours to serving our local communities as a small business owner, volunteer and as Downey mayor and councilmember.  His energy and commitment to programs benefiting our schools, the environment, job creation efforts, the local economy and safe neighborhoods have made our entire region a better place to live, work and play. Mario is trustworthy, well-respected and has a commitment to public service for the right reason – helping those he serves.  Please join me in supporting Mayor Guerra for the State Senate, 32nd District!”

For a full list of endorsements please visit: http://guerraforsenate.com/endorsements.php

Please visit Mario’s website for more information and updates at www.guerraforsenate.com.

Mayor Guerra has had tremendous successes in Downey. Among them was recently winning Downey the distinguished award as “All-American City,” as well as helping to create over 8,000 new jobs. He was overwhelmingly elected to Downey’s city council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Among many other regional efforts, Mayor Guerra serves as President-Elect of the Independent Cities Association, and has served as the Legislative and Budget Chair of California Contract Cities Association, Mario was also awarded the Non-Partisan Elected Official of the Year in 2011.

Mario’s track record extends beyond public service. He is a successful small business owner, having co-founded  Scanlon-Guerra-Burke. Today, operating as SGB-NIA, his partner firm is one of the largest insurance brokers in California.

Guerra has been an ordained Deacon in the Catholic church since 2002, and serves as a Deacon in ministry at St. Linus Catholic Church in Norwalk, CA. He also serves as a Stational Deacon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels as well as the Chaplain of Downey Police.

Mario is a husband of 29 years to his wife, Ann, and a father of five to Mario, Jr., Lynne, Matthew, Haley and Ryan.

Posted in 32nd Senate District, Buena Park, State Senate, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »