Assembly District #72 candidate Democrat John MacMurray gratefully thanked a crowd of supporters gathered at his home last night by acknowledging the importance of their energized get-out-the-vote effort to his extremely strong showing against a host of well-known North Orange County Republicans in yesterday’s special election.
And, indeed, because of Democratic enthusiasm for his candidacy, MacMurray garnered only 3,800 votes less than longtime Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, despite being outspent by Norby by more than a 10-to-1 ratio.
In fact, Supervisor Norby must be privately disappointed this morning that, after spending $197,000 ($14.03 per vote!), the longtime local politico could muster only 37% of the vote, low enough to force Norby to face MacMurray in a January 12, 2010 run-off election. (In contrast, MacMurray spent only $1.86 per vote, an statistic reflective of the strength of his volunteer effort.)
MacMurray has an uphill battle, though, to win the January 12, 2010 contest: Chris Norby has strong name recognition throughout Orange County. And, of course, the district’s registered voter base is heavily Republican.
And Norby has no qualms about sleazy mud-slinging campaigning, as proven by his stunningly trashy tactics against Republican opponent Linda Ackerman.
Republican Norby commented last night that he expects to pick up more Republican votes within the district, presumably from the 7,400 voters who cast their lots for Ackerman yesterday. But given the bad blood between these two candidates and camps, TheLiberalOC.com wonders if Ackerman supporters will go to the polls for Norby on January 12th.
Given the energy and excitement of MacMurray supporters, North Orange County frustrations with Republican leadership in A.D. #72, and the intense bitterness between Republican rivals Norby and Ackerman, TheLiberalOC.com believes John MacMurray has a genuine chance to surprise the pundits, and become North Orange County’s first Democratic state Assemblyman in memory. Mark my words!