Historic Election in Irvine: Kang is First Korean American Mayor

Irvine’s Sukhee Kang has been elected Mayor making him the city’s first Korean-American mayor.  He defeated Council member Christina Shea by 2,345 votes.  It was the first election defeat for Shea on the ballot.  She is termed out in 2010.

Joining Kang on the Council were slate mates Beth Krom and Larry Agran, both elected to 4 year terms with 26,762 and 20,703 votes each respectively.  Steve Choi was re-elected to a two year term with 20,311 votes.  Todd Gallinger finished fourth with 16,564 votes turning back challenges from Margie Wakeham and Patrick Rodgers.

And both Measure R and Measure S — both backed by the progressive Irvine slate — won convincing victories.

The message from Irvine voters was clear.  The attack politics of Christina Shea, Steven Choi and the Irvine Tattler were again rejected by voters.  How bad is it for them.  The Tattler has no updates on its site today at all.

Choi’s win is stained by the fact it’s a 2 year term and that he plans to run for State Assembly in 2010.  He’s a weak Republican candidate to replace DeVore, so unless someone else challenges him, there’s a great chance for a Democrat to represent AD-70 in Sacramento.

The local media (the OC Register) did no favors to the KeepIrvineGreat slate.  While Sean Emery ran an online story about a judges decision that backed the city in a politically motivated lawsuit brought by candidate Pat Rodgers and former council member Greg Smith that cost the city considerable funds to defend.  The story ran today so it had no real impact on the election even though the Irvine World News published Saturday.  The paper published editions on Sunday and Monday too, but didn’t see fit to run the story until today.

Rodgers and Smith have appealed the decision and the city has announced that they will pursue legal fees.  And then there is the issue of legal fees Shea and Choi are seeking for the lawsuit they filed against the Great Park Board on the CEO search.  All told, the amounts are about $100,000.  And none of the parties involved is exactly super rich.  Who’s going to be paying these bills?


  2 comments for “Historic Election in Irvine: Kang is First Korean American Mayor

  1. Rob
    November 5, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Good riddance to SHEA!! A lame duck?

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    November 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Rob —
    I wish I could tell you how many of my neighbors, afraid of mispronouncing Suhkee Kang’s first name, told me they cast their Mayoral vote for “Not Shea.”

    Wonder if she’ll help Pat Rodgers pay his legal bills for the failed lawsuit against the city in which the city will seak legal fees.

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