The Orange County Fourth District Supervisor race to replace termed out Supervisor Chris Norby has gotten a bit more crowded over the past week. Already in for the past month or so were Orange County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly, and Fullerton City Councilman Shawn Nelson. Last week, Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway announcedÂ to Red County blogger Matt Cunningham that she was running for the seat. Monday night, La Habra City Councilwoman Rose Espinoza launched her campaign website for the seat. Espinoza unsuccessfully challenged Norby for the seat in 2006.
Councilwoman Galloway talked to us aboutÂ her campaign Monday. There will be a “formal” announcement later this summer.Â It’s going to come down to who can raise money for the race.Â Each of the three Democrats in this race are strong candidates who have been elected in cities with a Republican majority.Â And each would need strong support of labor to beat Shawn Nelson.Â
My caution to the Unions is simply wait to see which candidate shows the capacity to build the strongest organization and raise the most money from individual donors (which usually translates to voters) before throwing the weight of labor behind that candidate.Â I’d also want them to review the records of each Democrat who courts labor at election time; did they deliver on their commitments after they were elected?
It is still early for any of the Democratic candidates the line up the support of the local labor unions such as the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), AFSCME, and Teamsters to name a few. All have received labor support in their previous campaigns.Â Thus far, none of the labor unions have formally endorsed any of these announced candidates.
Sources tellÂ us that all of the labor groups are looking at the candidatesÂ and evaluating which campaign is most viable. It is still early and those assessments will take a little while. In the mean-time the first real test of viability should be cash on hand in existing campaign accounts that would likely be transferable to a Supervisor campaign. Money talks in Orange County elections.
Only one of the candidates, Tom Daly, hasÂ actively raised funds transferable to the Supervisor race. We should know where that stands by the end of the month.Â Â But with Galloway and Espinoza getting in the race, I’d like to see an apples-to-apples-to-apples comparison when Democrats and 4th district residents when each of the three have a full quarter of fundraising behind them.Â Daly may have the most money now, but if Galloway or Espinoza have dramatically higher fundraising in like months, its anybody’s race.Â
Having multiple quality candidates for a competitive seat in Orange County is a good thing.Â It shows that the efforts by the DPOC and Demcoratic activists are making strides in turning a Red County a decided shade of Blue.