On Monday night the members of the Democratic Party of Orange County gathered for their monthly meeting. The main topic of the meeting this month was endorsements in local races. While the overwhelming majority of endorsements were uncontested and approved by consent, there were a few contested races up for discussion.
One of those races was for Laguna Beach City Council. While Incumbent Councilwoman Verna Rollinger was endorsed by consent, the Laguna Beach Democratic Club pulled the endorsement of Mayor Jane Egly for discussion. Member Audrey Prosser explained that the club was strongly opposed to an endorsement of Egly because, among other things, Egly has been cavorting with Republicans. Prosser told the Central Committee that Egly’s campaign is being bankrolled by Republicans, and that she had sided with the Republican members of the City Council to appoint herself to the position of Mayor this year denying Rollinger her turn at the post.
After Prosser spoke the members engaged in a tortured voting process of roll call voting to decide whether or not to endorse Egly. Roll call voting was not required, but after the failure of the process in 2010 to accurately record the votes in the contest between Al Amezcua and Miguel Pulido for the Mayoral Endorsement in Santa Ana, it isn’t surprising that some members wanted to be sure that every vote was counted accurately. When the votes were tallied, Egly was denied the party endorsement.
The contest for Area 5 Trustee of the Rancho Santiago Community College Board had incumbent Mark McLoughlin facing off against current Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez. McLoughlin used his remarks to reminding members of his accomplishment as Trustee the past four years and of his endorsement. Alvarez tried to charm the members with a big smile, and highlighting her service for the past 12 years as a member of the Santa Ana City Council.
The first motion made was to endorse McLoughlin. When the votes were finally tallied, McLoughlin was able to garner 21 votes, reaching the required 60 % of those voting to receive the endorsement. That however, didn’t end the voting. The option was available to also consider Alvarez for endorsement. If both candidates were to reach the 60% threshold, the top vote-getter would receive the endorsement. It wasn’t even close—by a show-of-hands vote Alvarez only received 7 votes.
The Central Committee was poised when they arrived for a repeat of an endorsement decision between Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and a challenger, this time Councilman David Benavides. Just prior to the meeting Mayor Pulido, had contacted the party and withdrawn his request for endorsement consideration. No explanation was given for his withdrawal. Pulido was not in attendance at the meeting. With that, by roll call vote, Benavides was endorsed by the party for the position of Santa Ana Mayor.
Here is the complete list of DPOC Endorsements in Municipal Races:
Aliso Viejo City Council: Ross Chun
Anaheim City Council: Jordan Brandman
Anaheim City School Board: Al Jabbar & John Santoianni
Centralia School District: Arturo Montez
Coast Community College Trustee: Jerry Patterson
Fullerton City Council: Jan Flory& Kitty Jaramillo
Garden Grove City Council: Kris Beard
Garden Grove School Board: Bao Nguyen
Huntington Beach City Council: Jill Hardy
Irvine City Council: Beth Krom
Irvine Mayor: Larry Agran
Irvine Unified School Board: Paul Bokota & Cyril Yu
Laguna Beach City Council: Verna Rollinger
Laguna Woods Mayor: Cynthia Conners
Orange City Council: Larry Labrado
Rancho Santiago Community College Area 1: Jose Solorio
Rancho Santiago Community College Area 3: Nelida Yanez
Rancho Santiago Community College Area 5: Mark McLoughlin
Santa Ana City Council Ward 1: Vincent Sarmiento
Santa Ana City Council Ward 3: Eric Alderete
Santa Ana Mayor: David Benavides
Santa Ana Unified School Board: Valerie Amezcua
South Coast Water District, Director: Wayne Rayfield
Westminister Elementary School District: Jo-Ann Purcell
Westminister School Board: Jamison Power
Westminister Mayor : Penny Loomer
Candidates who were unable to submit questionnaires in time for the August 27th meeting may still file for endorsement. Additional candidate endorsements will be considered at the next Central Committee meeting, which will take place on Monday September 24th at 7:00 pm at the Carpenters Union Hall at 1918 W Chapman in Orange, CA.