Does Perez Have the Early Edge in AD-69?

Julio Perez

Julio Perez at 2011 OCLF Labor Day Celebration, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Labor leader Julio Perez and Santa Ana council member Michele Martinez are the only announced candidates for AD-69 (many political watchers expect OC Clerk-Recorder and former Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly to enter the race as well).  Perez held a fundraiser last week in Santa Ana at trendy and oh-so-gentrified Bistro 400 and Martinez has her big Assembly coming out party on Thursday at the trendy and oh so gentrified Chapter One in Santa Ana (couldn’t either of them held these fundraisers at one of those nice mom-and-pop restaurants on the other side of Fourth Street? Way to hang with the hipsters, both of you). 

And both candidates issued the invite with a partial list of endorsements and supporters.

Michele Martinez

Martinez can claim the entire Santa Ana city council except for Republican Carlos Bustamante, who has been suspended from his county job for alleged sexual harassment complaints, and Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alavrez, who has been rebuked by a number of community organizations for her anti-Semitic remarks directed at a Jewish businessman and property owner at an August council meeting for which Alvarez has since apologized (our understanding that Alvarez attracted heavy SAPD security yesterday with a reliable tipster phoning in a report that the Santa Ana police wanted to avoid “another Gabby Giffords” case on their hands). 

Perhaps the most important endorsement for Martinez comes from State Rep. Jose Solorio, the termed out state assemblyman representing the district.  Solorio’s backing is significant because Tom Daly’s wife works in Solorio’s office in the district creating a whole new dynamic should Daly formally announce.


Aside from an endorsement from Diane Singer, an Orange Unified School Board member, Martinez can only boast of various members of the city planning commission and other city commissioners.  There appears to be only a single endorsement from Santa Ana’s large Vietnamese community.  Shortly after announcing her intentions, we’ve learned Martinez did reach out to a number of elected female Democrats and it appears many of them are waiting out the race before making a commitment. 

Others have placed their bets on Perez.

Julio Perez

Julio Perez

Perez boasts a number of labor organization endorsements which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  At the top of his endorsement list is termed out Anaheim councilmember Lorri Galloway, along with Fullerton city council member Sharon Quirk-Silva (so much for that notion that Latina Democrats are in Martinez’s camp). Democratic leaders lead John Hanna, Mike Matsuda, Santa Ana Unified’s John Palacio, Garden Grove Unified ‘s Bao Nguyen, OCYD’s Nick Anas and Tim Steed demonstrates that Perez has an edge when it comes to endorsements from Democrats in Anaheim and Santa Ana, Latinos, Asian voters and others. 

While you could argue that Galloway’s endorsement of Perez is due to an Anaheim connection, Martinez worked for Galloway at the Eli Home briefly before moving on.  Quirk-Silva doesn’t reside in AD-69 but she’s had frequent interactions with Martinez at county and party functions, and Quirk-Silva’s made it clear since election season 2010 that she would take a careful approach to endorsements ini the future. 

A big prize awaiting Perez and Martinez — support of police and fire unions in Santa Ana.  Still, this race, like any competitive race is going to come down to who can raise the money needed and who can build a better organization to get feet on the street

  7 comments for “Does Perez Have the Early Edge in AD-69?

  1. September 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm


    I did check with Councilman David Benavides regarding his support of Martinez. He indicated that he agreed to lend his name to the invite but has not decided yet on an endorsement in this race.

  2. Gericault
    September 19, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Julio would have my vote…….unfortunately, I’m stuck with Mansoor.

  3. ocmartiniman
    September 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Solorio has been soliciting anybody he can find to run against Julio. Michele is the fourth or fifth person he approached, and the only one who bit at the idea. The support she may or may not have amongst her fellow council members is questionable. Historically, unless they are running against one another, they maintain a public face of unanimity during elections. Her sponsor list is almost all city council members or people she has voted to appoint to the positions listed on her flyer – kind of pathetic. Solorio is peddling her to his mod dem business interests, who will throw money against any union candidate in a safe dem seat where a republican cannot be elected. I do not think she will get tons of enthusiastic financial support as she is an somewhat of an intellectual lightweight, indecisive on issues, and comes across as somewhat of a narcissist. She also will have to deal with the whole ex-gangbanger/drug dealer rap that she (fairly or unfairly) is burdened with. That may have some effect on her ability to get law enforcement endorsement, even with Paul Walters as Interim City Manager. The budget shortfall issue and its connection to Police and Fire contracts (always negotatied in conjunction with city council elections) will surely come to haunt her as well. If she votes in favor of any city expenditure to bring the Chivas B Team to Santa Ana during this recession (which will surely financialy kill the city) would be another nail in the coffin. The more she talks, the more people will ask themselves “Seriously?” Nice person, but simply not qualified intellectually for Sacramento.

  4. September 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Thanks Chris. I know Michele did outreach to several elected Dems who are female asking for endorsements and find it telling that many are not on her list.

  5. September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Dan: As usual, your knowledge of SanTana and Latino politics are laughable. Bistro 400 has supported community organizations like Breath of Fire Theater, Dia de los Muertos for years. A Chapter One owner, on the other hand, lambasted Fourth Street’s quinceañera shops. Please continue issuing spins for Agran.

  6. September 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Laughable? Like your knowledge of baseball?

    Bistro 400 is a *very* nice place and you and I both know that there are some restaurants on the other side of Fourth Street more fitting of the image both Julio and Michele want to project.

    Chapter One didn’t impress me; food was just OK, no wi-fi but the service was great

  7. Post Modern
    September 20, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Gustavo was right on with restaurant critique.

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