On Monday, Second District Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach announced that he was dropping his bid for the 45th Congressional seat being vacated by retiring Congressman John Campbell. It was a long shot to begin with, given the huge fundraising advantage the State Senator Mimi Walters had in fundraising. It was not of course as deep an achievement hole to climb out of as his earlier thought that running for Governor was a good idea. Moorlach dropped that bid in June last year after his exploration determined that he could not find the necessary support for the bid.
In the case of the 45th Congressional seat, Moorlach faced similar challenge as the race for Governor; not the least of which was whether he could raise the necessary amount of cash to make the run viable. In an interview with the Orange County Register Moorlach said:
“I felt I could not back off from the duties at the office,” he said. “I looked at my fundraising numbers and thought, ‘I’m not achieving my goals.’ … Being a candidate is 24/7,” he said, reflecting on the short-lived campaign.
According to the latest Federal Election Commission reports Moorlach raised $46,313 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and had $36,694.65 cash on hand at the start of the new year. In contrasting that with Senator Mimi Walters fundraising of $623,755.79 in total funds raised and $424,250.18 in the bank, we tend to agree with Moorlach’s assessment.
But with his departure from the Congressional contest, there is a contest that he might yet consider. Auditor-Controller Jan Grimes failed to file to run for the position she was appointed to in April 2013 after the departure of former Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom. Former Orange County Register reporter Andrew Galvin speculated on this option back when Moorlach announced the end of his listening tour for the Governor’s race. We wrote back then:
Unfortunately it is likely that we could have Moorlach to kick around for some time to come. Galvin reports that Moorlach is still considering a run for Auditor-Controller. Maybe that has something to do with his support for Jan Grimes as the appointee for that position. During the selection process Grimes indicated that she was unlikely to run for the elected seat in 2014.
Moorlach could also consider running for the Assembly seat left without an incumbent candidate with Assemblyman Mansoor’s decision to run for Moorlach’s Supervisor seat. Moorlach has until 5 pm Wednesday, March 12th to decide what, if any, of these two seats he wants to run for.