Santa Ana council member Michele Martinez has pre-announced that she will announce her candidacy for State Assembly in AD-69 later this week. The council member left a Facebook message to her friends about her plans.
The Register’s Andrew Galvin has more here.
Councilmember Vince Sarmiento had been considered the frontrunner of Santa Ana City Council members who will challenge labor rep Julio Perez for the seat now held by State Rep. Jose Solorio. Councilman Sal Tinajero was considering a run.
According to an email written by Tinajero confidant Sean Mill to the OrangeJuice Blog that was leaked to TheLiberalOC, Tinajero was “close” to entering the race and if he runs “he will win” Mill wrote to blog editor Vern Nelson. Mill asked Nelson to refrain from including Tinajero in any story about possible candidates to replace Solorio.
From the email, Mill wrote: “As far as Sal running goes, that has not been decided yet. He and I have talked about it on numerous occasions and he is not sure that is what he wants to do and if his family wants that. As soon as I know something concrete I will let you know, but try and keep the blogging about him running to a minimum until he announces for sure. The yayhoos will go nuts if they think he is running. If he runs, he will win.”
TheLiberalOC also learned that Tinajero had a meeting with labor officials on Friday and they indicated they would not support his candidacy. Tinajero was the only council incumbent who faced challengers in the last election cycle and had difficulty raising money for a competitive council race. Raising funds for an assembly run against a union-backed candidate was likely too daunting a challenge.
While Martinez has a compelling personal story, many insiders believe her run for assembly has more to do with the paycheck the state assembly reps receive than what she makes as a city council member and her job with a local not-for-profit. State assembly representatives get $95,291 annually and $142 per diem for meals, lodging and other expenses.
Martinez has had trouble following the law when it comes to accepting campaign contributions. Her blog has been dark since July 10, 2011.