For the next four years the residents of Orange County’s First Supervisorial District will have to suffer through being represented by either Janet Nguyen or Dina Niguyen, both of whom are Republicans.Ã‚Â The lone Democrat in the race, Hoa Van Tran, has little chance of victory and is likely nothing more than a DINO, Democrat in name only.Ã‚Â So how did we find ourselves in this position?Ã‚Â Well to be truthful, we Democrats and our local party leaders have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Janet Nguyen herselfÃ‚Â in a recent speech given to the CRA said that the First District is a Democratic district.Ã‚Â The First District is home to Loretta Sanchez, Lou Correa and Jose Solorio.Ã‚Â The majority of the First District is encompassed in the city of Santa Ana where 6 of 7 councilmembers are Democrats.Ã‚Â This part of Orange County has been solidly Democratic since Loretta, Lou, Tom Umberg and Joe Dunn made it so.Ã‚Â The 69th Assembly District and the 47th Congressional District, onceÃ‚Â fierce battle grounds,Ã‚Â are not even seriously contested by the Republicans anymore.
So why then did we Democrats simply roll over and hand the Republicans the First Supervisorial District?Ã‚Â That should be a solid blue seat today, tomorrow and into the future but sadly we’ll have to wait at least another four years to see this happen.Ã‚Â How did we find ourselves in this predictiment?
Lets be clear about one thing, if Lou Correa had chosen to serve out his two full 4 year terms this seat would still be firmly in the hands of the Democrats.Ã‚Â I am not trying to pin the blame on Lou because if it weren’t for him the 34th State Senate seat may be in the hands of the Reeps.Ã‚Â Lou does great work in Sacramento and he likely feels much more at home there then he did as the lone Dem on the Board of Supes.Ã‚Â His early exit for the State Senate came as a disappointment to many, especially labor, but the Democrats are strong enough in central OC that we should have easily bounced back.Ã‚Â We didn’t and we haven’t.
The next issue that arose was the candidacy of Joe Dunn for the seat.Ã‚Â It is here where I believe the biggest mistake was made.Ã‚Â We, the Democrats, put all of our eggs in the Joe Dunn basket.Ã‚Â We counted too heavily on Joe Dunn running and we had no back-up plan when he decided not to run.Ã‚Â Again I am not looking to blame Joe, he made the decision he felt was best for him and his family.Ã‚Â We can’t begrudge him for this.
So when it came time to find a legitimate candidate to carry the party banner in the First District race the party leaders were caught with their pants down.Ã‚Â There was talk of a David Benevides candidacy, but come on. Ã‚Â David is a nice guy but he isn’t even a majorÃ‚Â player in Santa Ana politics.Ã‚Â His relevancy locallyÃ‚Â is just below Carlos Bustamante and just above Art Pedroza.Ã‚Â To suggest that he is ready to serve on the Board of Supervisors is laughable.Ã‚Â He has a hard time holding his own on the Santa Ana City Council, the Reeps on the Board of Supes would have eaten him alive.
Despite the fact that BenevidesÃ‚Â is a fairly weak candidate he would have given Janet and Dina a run for their money, not because of Benevides but because it is a Democratic district.Ã‚Â Party leaders should have been developing a plan since Janet won the special election to win back this seat.Ã‚Â That plan should have been more detailed than “Joe Dunn”.Ã‚Â Surely we mustÃ‚Â have a credible candidate in the First District that we could have run for this seat besides Joe Dunn.Ã‚Â I guess we’ll have to wait four years to find out.
If you want to see what we get as a result of our poor planning take a look at the videoÃ‚Â Claudio posted on the Orange Juice.Ã‚Â In the video Supervisor Janet Nguyen attacks Democrats Loretta Sanchez, Jose Solorio and Lou Correa and heaps praise on religous right zealot Rosie Avila.Ã‚Â She is also heard making this disturbing comment, “I have street cred…just listen to me tell you what kind of guns we own in my family”.Ã‚Â Statements like that aren’t very reassuring that we have the most credible person serving the residents of the First District.
I hope we as a party learn from this fiasco and in four years we right the ship.Ã‚Â In four years we must return this seat to its rightful owners, the Democratic party.Ã‚Â Until then we’ll have to stomach four years of whichever Nguyen wins.Ã‚Â I hope you all have plenty of Pepto Bismol on hand.