Shea: Gone from the Dais but Not from the Sphere of Influence


Irvine councilwoman and former Mayor Christina Shea was fetted with praise and farewells from her seat on the dais in Irvine City Hall where she’s winding down her second term of her second tenure on the Irvine City Council.  She’s termed out and hasn’t ruled out another run for the city council in 2012.  Shea’s departure is bringing in a mixed reaction from Democrats and Republicans in Irvine alike.

It’s not like we haven’t criticized her from this blog because we have (the city’s “more Romantic” campaign, flip flops on Great Park Construction ..speed up/slow down).  But to think Shea isn’t an influence on the body politic in this town moving forward would be a mistake.  She remains popular with a core group of Irvine Republicans but has never been totally embraced by the county’s GOP establishment.  And unfortunately for Shea, the group of voters she’s popular with are unable to help her raise the sort of money that is required to mount a strong city wide campaign. 

On the Register’s story about Shea’s final meeting at city hall, a couple of Republicans are begging her not to run again. 

Irvine’s Republicans have been in disarray for a decade now.  Perhaps the most influential is soon-to-be former Assemblyman Chuck DeVore who seems to have his sites set on a higher profile office. Council member Steven Choi is termed out by 2012 and isn’t popular enough to win a Mayor’s seat unless Sukhee Kang is also on the ballot as a city council candidate or for some other office.

We wish Ms. Shea well.  We don’t care for her politics and think she was better suited to Irvine when the city has half it’s size 10 years ago. But  she certainly stood strong in her own shoes to even the harshest of criticism.  Her endorsement of Republicans seeking office in Irvine will likely be coveted.  We also wish her tremendous success in the private sector and leaves politics and governing to others.

  5 comments for “Shea: Gone from the Dais but Not from the Sphere of Influence

  1. Don scott
    November 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Yeah, her endorsement was so valuable this year. As an incumbent council member, she endorsed Gonzales and Schott and neither got a whiff of the dais. Shea is done. History. Period.

    • Ltpar
      November 30, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      As Dan so correctly pointed out, the Republicans haven’t had their act together for at least ten years and it has impacted some quarters where the Democrats are better organized. Irvine happens to be that place. Whether you like or hate Larry Agran, he has been very successful in building and maintaining a winning political dynasty in Irvine. Frankly, that machine will be very difficult but not impossible to dismantle in the future.

      As far as Christina Shea goes, she has a lot of friends in Irvine from her sixteen years on the Council. While not resonating with the liberal element, Shea has represented the interests of conservatives as well as possible, considering she and Steven Choi were in the minority for the past eight years. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Shea or Choi to go quietly into the night. They will take a six month break, keep a low profile and then start planning the 2012 campaign. I would not be at all surprised to see a unified Choi, Shea and Schott Republican ticket in 2012. A major push is going to be made to clean up the County Republican Party and infuse new leadership. If that happens, the 2012 Irvine City Council election could become a Republican priority and an interesting one to watch.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        December 1, 2010 at 8:47 am

        Choi would have to run as Mayor. He doesn’t have the stones to do the job Pat. He would not garner support from the GOP establishment he would need to win.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    November 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Schott did considerably better than anyone expected. Gonzales neevr really had a chance. I think if Shea had fired Lalloway earlier in the month, it would have impacted by absentee ballot numbers.

  3. December 2, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Costa Mesa’s Wendy Leece views the treatment both she and Shea have been receiving this year as typical OC GOP sexism. It’s an old boys’ club, and slightly independent women like Shea and Leece are treated with undisguised disdain and ostracized from any decision making.

    Wendy agrees with me that the fact these Republican women, though conservative, tend to listen to and consider other points of view (such as labor and the environment) probably has something to do with their gender. Wendy’s great offense last October was saving Costa Mesa millions of dollars by accepting public employee givebacks that Moorlach, Baugh and Righeimer didn’t think were severe enough. Funny, Wendy’s MALE colleague Gary Monahan also voted to accept these givebacks, and nobody said Boo to him.

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