Here are a few races Orange County liberals should be watching in the coming months:
The Westminster School Board
The Westminster community is pissed over the hiring and immediate firing of KimOanh Nguyen-Lam as the superintendent. The board voted to hire Nguyen-Lam, but then Judy Aherns and James Reed changed their votes a week later.
Nguyen-Lam would have been the first Vietnamese-American Superintendent in the United States. Some (including two members of the board that were present during the closed door discussion) say that the decision to fire Nguyen-Lam was based on race.
There are three seats up for grabs in November (including Aherns & ReedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s). A grass-roots group of predominately Vietnamese-Americans called Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our Children, Our VoteÃ¢â‚¬Â has endorsed Thanh Phan and Lupe Fisher.
Sergio Contreras and Blossie Marquez both say that they would want to give Nguyen-Lam the superintendent job, but they are lacking a board majorityÃ¢â‚¬â€which they hope will change in November.
Santa Ana City Council
Councilman Mike Garcia was flirting with the idea of running for mayor or running for re-election to the council, but he gave both up and decided to run for nothing.
When Garcia pulled the papers for Mayor, a bunch of people got excited about running for his ward. The official list of candidates for the 6th wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be available until Wednesday because Garcia decided not to run.
This does mean that 3 of the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seven council seats will go to new council members.
As far as the mayoral race, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to see how Thomas Gordon plans on fighting Godfather Pulido. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got an open mind on this one.
Then, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got Stanley Fiala. He ran for the council in 2002, and for the mayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seat in 2004. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s running for mayor again. His listed occupation is Ã¢â‚¬Å“immortality concepts researcherÃ¢â‚¬Â and in his last race he talked about how to segregate the city of Santa Ana according to race. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also suggested that council members Lisa Bist and Claudia Alvarez should do the can can every council meeting. This election he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the pleasure of getting the entire Ã¢â‚¬Å“Anyone but PulidoÃ¢â‚¬Â vote.
Garden Grove City Council
The Republican Mayor of Garden Grove will be re-elected without a fight; nobody filed papers for the mayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s race beside incumbent Bill Dalton. In all honesty, Dalton has done a decent job as the ruler of GG.
On the council, there are 2 open seats. Mark Leyes is termed out (thank god we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to waste city time with his long-winded jabber about national political issues, or that stupid story of the bronze Ronald Regan bust he has in his living room) and Harry Krebs is running for re-election (he was [controversially] appointed to his seat in 2004 when Dalton won the mayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seat)
There are 8 people that are running for the two seats. The list includes 2 prominent dems: Bruce Broadwater and Benny Diaz. Robin Marcario is a long-shot candidate that I wish could raise enough money to get taken seriously, but I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hold my breath.