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.
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.
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