Since I started writing for this blog back in 2006, a Joe Dunn candidacy for high office in OC is sort of a pipe dream for many of OC’s liberals and progressives. Dunn, a respected former State Senator from Central OC in the middle of last decade, is rumored to be making calls and has designs to run for Congress in CD-46, the seat now held by Loretta Sanchez.
Color me skeptical, but Dunn has done this before. Teased a candidacy for State Assembly in 2006 only to withdraw. He teased a candidacy for First District Supervisor to challenge Janet Nguyen only to withdraw. There were indications Dunn was going for the DPOC Chairman’s job, only to withdraw. With the exception of the Assembly race in 2006, won by Jose Solorio, Dunn’s flirtations with higher office have cost Democratic opportunities to advance (Jeff Letourneau held off on pursuing the DPOC chair until Dunn made up his mind and the delay likely cost Letourneau a decent shot).
A Joe Dunn congressional candidacy most hurts a possible Bao Nguyen candidacy the most, due to shared political alliances. Next, it hurts Lou Correa because voters could get a side by side comparison of the two men that help the seat for so long.
Dunn is also on the Board of Directors for the Voice of OC. Dunn’s biggest baggage, besides his canditeasing, is his firing from his job as Executive Director of the California State Bar Association; Dunn filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Organization which denied any wrongdoing in letting him go.
If Nguyen jumps into the race as a carpetbagger, OC has three great Democratic candidates. It’s unclear what sort of support Dunn still has nearly 10 years after leaving public office and after so many early withdrawls.