As the crowd gathered for State Senator Lou Correa’s annual holiday reception in Santa Ana, a different kind of event was taking place. Quiet lobbying for support to lead the Democratic Party of Orange County between Jeff LeTourneau and Henry Vandermeir. It was fun to watch the two men and their suporters work the room, greeting elected and appointed officials and quietly seeking support in a bid to replace outgoing Chairman Frank Barbaro.
Sources tell TheLiberalOC, former State Senator Joe Dunn is likely not to pursue Barbaro’s job, which LeTourneau said he’d step aside if Dunn entered the fray.
There were a number of elected officials to lobby from new Rancho Santiago college board members Nalida Yanez and Jose Solorio, Garden Grove school board member Bao Nguyen, and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido dropped by for about 10 minutes. But not another member of the Santa Ana city council made it. It was a terrific event and we’ll note what a great job the senator’s staff did speaking with residents, making introductions to the senator, and Senator Correa was clearly in his element and enjoying the evening.
LeTourneau and Vandermeir are likely to see each other at a number of other ceremonies and parties throughout the holiday season. We’re left with the impression that regardless of who emerges as the new chairman, both will work together to continue the progress Barbaro has made during his tenure which the goals of increasing Democratic Party registration and increasing the numbers of Democrat electeds in Orange County.
Enjoy the photos from the party including photographic evidence of Jose Solorio without his mustache: