Republican Drops out of AD-69 making it a Democratic Final Four

It’s fitting that March Madness is upon us (I have Syracuse going all the way in my bracket) and in AD-69, Republican candidate Robert Hammond has dropped out.  According to, Hammond has decided to run for a different seat leaving four Democrats to fight it out to replace Jose Solorio in November. Hammond will run instead for a seat on the OC Board of Education.

Presumably, the candidate most likely to benefit from Hammond’s withdrawl is OC Clerk Recorder Tom Daly, who has a strong track record of working with both parties while he was mayor of Anaheim and in his current position as OC Clerk Recorder.  That leaves Labor activist Julio Perez, Santa Ana Council member Michele Martinez and community activist Francesco Barragan to split the Latino vote.  It is also entirely possible Republicans will blank this race leaving two Latino candidates in the top two.

Fromo the OC Political post:

The question of who wins the AD-69 election is: as the least liberal Democrat in the race, can Daly consolidate the Republican vote behind him? If the Martinez-Perez-Barragan voters consolidate behind one candidate, they would presumably be the majority of the votes cast by Democrats. However, if Daly can capture the Republicans, then he will win by combining the Republican vote with the portion of the Democrats’ votes he had in June. In AD-69, Democrats make up 49.7% of registered voters, Republicans make up 27.5% of registered voters, and No Party Preference voters make up 19.1%. By winning all the Republicans, half the NPP, and just 30% of Democrats, Daly can form a winning coalition in November. However, if any of the others can make a play for the Republican vote, they could destabilize the Daly coalition and win themselves. In a most unusual election, the Democrats in AD-69 may well try to position themselves as the conservative candidate in the Primary, in hopes of holding the Republican vote in November. (We’ve already received e-mail messages this weekend at OC Political from some of the Dem AD-69 candidates touting their “non-partisan” or “bi-partisan” viewpoints.)

Bottom line for Republicans: the AD-69 race will eat up valuable human and financial resources for the Democrats in November, freeing up Republican resources to spent on other races. Furthermore, the least liberal Democrat will likely be elected to represent the seat.

Since it’s now a Democrat vs Democrat vs Democrat vs Democrat race, it’s clear the best interests of the party and the voters of AD-69 would be for all candidates to rally around the winner of the June primary rather than spend considerable time and money and heartache beating each other up.  That accelerates campaign organization, fundraising and feet on the street.  I sure hope each candidate can articulate their plans moving forward after the June primary, especially if a clear victor emerges.

This is going to be a fun race to watch.

  6 comments for “Republican Drops out of AD-69 making it a Democratic Final Four

  1. Darlene Matthews
    March 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Maybe they can agree to limit funds used.

    • Anaheim Angel
      March 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

      This is probably NOT good news for Daly. If Daly was banking on Latinos splitting vote and he would take it in June making it a white guy v white guy…not the case now. The Latino – whoever it ends up (my bet on Perez followed by Martinez) will get to run in November with even greater turnout of Latino (and probably union) voters.

  2. Look Out Tom
    March 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

    This puts Daly in a VERY tough position. Think about it: Assuming he could pull this off, he will face a primary challenge EVERY 2 YEARS as a sitting incumbent. There is no way the party will consolidate behind him, and there is no way Latino voters, community leaders and politicians (except Solorio) in the 69th AD will tolerate pasty white faced Daly from the compounds of Anaheim Hills as a representative in a 73% Latino district with Santa Ana at its epicenter.

    Everyone knows Daly HATES campaigning. It is no secret. Now he has to look forward to moving from a comfy, four year election cycle position with no term limits and the ability to sleep in his own bed every night to a job that pays substantially less, that requires him to travel to Sacramento every week. AND HE IS GOING TO HAVE TO ENDURE VICIOUS PRIMARIES EVERY TWO YEARS.

    Expect Daly to reconsider the race in the next few weeks, and do not be surprised to hear rumors of a withdrawal in the next few weeks.

  3. Greg Diamond
    March 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I disagree with those who say that Daly will drop out: his peeps are out to keep Perez out of Sacramento (for the crime of repeatedly dissing Solorio, among others) and Daly knows that he has to run. What may knock him out is a scandal.

    However, I have to correct my colleagues here: filing has not closed. There is no incumbent running; filing therefore gets extended. A Republican could still enter. I’m hoping for one named “Tom Daley.” (Note: I have no idea if such a person resides in the district. “Tim Daly” would also work.)

  4. Reader
    March 13, 2012 at 8:03 am

    No Republican will enter this race, it is an almost surefire bet that they’ll be happy to watch from the sidelines as Democrats tear at each other, and exhaust resources for the next 8 months in the only place where Democrats have real strength in the county.
    Meanwhile the GOP will be free to devote all of their resources to the races where Democrats might have a fighting chance such as AD 65 or 72.
    I predict a traumatic race for the party in both June and November.
    However, I don’t think this race will come down to Republican votes, they will most likely ignore this one entirely, no matter who tries to court them. I think the DTS voters will control this election.

  5. March 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This is one of those races when my opinion is in the minority, but if there is a decisive victor in the primary, the rest of the candidates should drop out. The candidate who gets the most votes is the one the party should formally endorse and lets redirect funds from beating each other up to races where there is a fighting chance.

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