Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Lynn Schott has formally filed to run for Congress in CD-46. The move was not altogether unexpected as she opened a committee months ago and has been accepting donations. Her paperwork was field last week.
When Schott’s name was first bandied about as a candidate, some Irvine Republicans told TheLiberalOC a formal campaign was unlikely. Schott had apparently decided otherwise and even though she’s running for the seat while not residing in the District, she will be the candidate for choice for Republicans in the district who only vote for R’s.
Earlier this month, two former Democrats announced a run as Republicans for this seat. Earlier this month, AnaheimBlog and OC Political ran details about party-switching campaigns of Louie Contreras and Rody Gaona. From Chris Nguyen’s post:
Bizarrely, two recent Democrats have pulled papers to run as Republicans in the 46th Congressional District race to replace Loretta Sanchez, who is running for the United States Senate. No other Republicans have pulled papers, though Irvine Councilwoman Lynn Schott has opened a committee.
One is Louie A. Contreras who was the Democratic nominee for the 41st District attempting to unseat Congressman Jerry Lewis in 2006, winning only 32.7% of the vote. Contreras ran unsuccessfully for La Habra City Council in 2008, winning 3.0% to come in 8th out of 8 candidates.
The other is Rudy Gaona who was the Democrat who won just 16.5% of the vote in 2014 in a head-to-head race against Supervisor Shawn Nelson; Gaona was actually endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County in his race against Nelson. Gaona has run unsuccessfully for Anaheim City Council twice, winning 5.6% of the vote to come in 8th out of 9 candidates in 2012 and 2.2% of the vote to come in 14th out of 14 candidates in 2010.
Another political newcomer, Nancy Trinidad Marin of Santa Ana, has also pulled papers but we’re unsuccessful in determining her party affiliation. Add former State Senators Lou Correa and Joe Dunn to the mix with Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, and the race for CD-46 is becoming a crowded field.
Regardless of the two former Democrats in the race as Republicans, Schott has name ID as a result of her position on the Irvine City Council. While she is carpetbagging into the district, Schott grew up in Santa Ana so she knows her way around the district. In this case, Schott wants to represent voters in Congress that she doesn’t currently represent on the Irvine City Council. What will hurt her with voters in the district is her vote to repeal Irvine’s Living Wage ordinance where she re-iterated a number of falsehoods regarding raising a minimum wage does for workers (hint, she thinks it kills jobs). CD-46 has a number of worker families at the lower end of the socio-economic scale and many will be offended by her vote.
CD-46 is overwhelmingly Democratic in terms of Voter Registration. It isn’t Liberal or Progressive at all. Schott could easily finish in the top 2 (look to AD-69 In 2012 as a guideline where Tom Daly’s vote total exceeded all of the Latino Democrats on the ballot combined. Democratic voter turnout, especially in Santa Ana, will be critical for Correa and Dunn. Nguyen needs to lock up the youth vote, the LGBTQ crowd and Vietnamese-American voters who live in district.