Former Anaheim Council member Lorri Galloway has decided to throw her hat into the ring and challenge conservative Republican Mayor Tom Tait in the 2014 election. The official story in Frank Mickadeit’s column hit online Halloween night but OC Weekly broke the news — with sources from the Register — Halloween morning.
Gustavo Arellano writes:
“…she’s already telling them that she believes she can win, viewing current Anaheim mayor Tom Tait as a lame duck who has little support from conservatives in the city and thinking she can peel off the liberals and progressives who have stood by Tait as he has emerged as the lone council voice against the Curt Pringle machine that rules the city. The move will shatter the strange alliance that has coalesced around Tait, and probably ensure that whoever Pringle gets to run against Tait and Galloway will win.
Her move is not universally loved by progressive activists who have sided with Tait, and must now publicly distance themselves from him once the unions start filing behind Galloway. Ooh, this is going to be fun!”
Galloway can win and here’s how.
It begins and ends with Tait being a weak mayor. Name another Republican mayor with a Republican council majority in Orange County that doesn’t follow his every whim? Tait can’t control the clown car of former jail birds, underemployed finger puppeteers, and bigoted non-profit spokesholes that make up his loudest supporters. The Pringle Jingles are not universally loved either. Anaheim has changed enough to move more to the left. If Council member Kris Murray is as disliked as Tait supporters say, then perhaps a good Democratic candidate can knock her out too giving a Galloway-lead city council a 3-2 majority.
Tait is on the short end of a 4-1 council majority and can’t get a thing done. Galloway was at the short end of a 4-1 majority for most of her time on the council and has a long record of accomplishment. In fact, even though she’s been out of office since December, her phone rings every night with Anaheim residents seeking her help. Galloway continues to offer it.
“What people have seen in the last 18 months is a city on the cusp of change,” Galloway tells the LiberalOC. “The city, for years, has progressed to the point where it is now. This is a working class city that feels very disconnected to City Hall and the City Council. In the very public things the city has done over the last year has alienated our leaders from the base of residents in the city. Anaheim is working class families and I’m running for Mayor because City Hall just is only listening to a select few.”
Arellano cites Galloway’s 2010 race for County Board of Supervisor as an example of hubris (which he certainly would know), but it would be a mistake to judge Galloway by that race alone. As a candidate for city council in 2004 and 2008, with more than 10 candidates running for open seats, Galloway was the top of the ticket garnering the most votes in every precinct west of the 57 freeway in both races including the very conservative Colony district. It’s believed Disney threw a ton of cash for candidates running against her in 2008 but Disney’s cash doesn’t beat well-informed voters. Galloway’s signature issue in 2008: affordable housing.
Galloway made a name for herself by running The Eli Home, which has helped abused children and shattered families for more than 30 years. Simply put, she and her family and staff have helped thousands of people at the lowest point of their lives.
“My campaign is about building a new sense of community in Anaheim and a new sense of family,” she said. “I want to inspire our residents to make the changes we need in Anaheim. I go into this race with my strong faith, the support of my family and friends, and my desire to continue doing the sort of public service I have demonstrated for more than 30 years. I love this city. I love this community. I still have a lot to offer and a lot to give.”
If Galloway wins, she will be the first female mayor in the city’s history and the first person of color to wield the gavel.