For the fist time, Democrats beat Republicans in voter turnout for a primary election in Orange County and there were several surprises with last night’s primary results. Here’s a quick snapshot below:
- Polls tightened in California between Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders leading up to Tuesday night’s election. With the Associated Press calling the race for Hillary on Monday, it looks like Clinton supporters were invigorated or Sanders supporters stayed home (or a combination of the two). Hillary’s decisive victory in California and elsewhere (except North Dakota) ought to have Sanders re-thinking his strategy of staying in the race until July’s convention. It’s way past over and his mistaken belief that super-delegates, a group he’s pretty much insulted for a period of months, will somehow switch votes for him is simply folly. Still feeling the Bern? There are creams for that. The fire’s out; time to make history with Hillary.
- Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez wrapped up the second spot in the race for US Senate. Sure, AG Kamala Harris won by a large margin. And now that it’s a two horse race, Sanchez will benefit from conservatives, NPP, independents, moderates, pro-business Democrats, and a swelling tide of Latino voters headed into November. It reminds me of the 2012 Norby-Quirk-Silva race where Norby won huge in the primary with Quirk-Silva focused on November for the win. Both Harris and Sanchez are still working their day jobs while running for office. The difference is stuff isn’t getting done in Sacramento by Harris (OC’s biggest mass murder case?) but is getting done in DC per Sanchez.
- Lou Correa dominated CD-46 race winning with 41.6% of the vote; Correa’s 24,184 were more than the next three candidates combined. Correa will face Republican Bob Peterson in November. Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen finished third, 540 votes ahead of former State Senator Joe Dunn. Lynn Schott was a distant fifth. On Anna Drive, Correa has 52% of the vote and Dunn leads Bao by 2 votes. Correa has 47.3% of the vote in Anaheim’s Third District which makes him a factor in the Anaheim City elections.
- Earlier in the day, Bao had issued a poll showing he was in second place according to a Capitol Weekly exit poll done by email which Dunn campaign operative Jim Pantone ripped Bao apart on Facebook for being dishonest about the poll with numerous Dunn supporters chiming in on how shameful it was. In this campaign between and among friends, serious damage has been done to a number of friendships. It’s my opinion, the Dunn campaign operatives and volunteers are the ones who can repair these rifts by reaching out and offering help to those moving on in November. If they go scorched Earth here, they damage may be permanent. I’ll note one small detail; someone from the Dunn campaign left a “Dunn for Congress” sign on city property in front of Lou Correa’s house on election day. I’m sure Mr. Dunn himself would view that as a classless move.
- A pretty good night for OC Democrats on assembly races. Sharon Quirk-Silva topped Young Kim by more than 3,000 votes in AD-65. Sean Panahi crushed Harry Sidhu by more than 8,500 votes and may not be the sacrificial lamb the guys at OrangeJuice think he is; Sidhu isn’t well liked in Anaheim where his base is and can only count on hard core Republican votes in the fall from hard core Trump supporters who would vote for the devil himself if there was an “R” next to his name. Panahi *can* win. And independent Brian Chuchua finished dead last with 3,014 proving once again how delusional some in the blogsphere can be. In a surprise, Karina Onofre upset Matt Harper in AD-74 by nearly 3,000 votes. Republican Katherine Daigle scored 14,885 votes so Onofre will have to work hard to earn Daigle’s “no-Harper” votes to her side in November. Tom Daly won big with 69% of the vote in AD-68. Lenore Albert-Sheridan was the only Democrat not able to win the assembly primary losing to Travis Allen in AD-72 by 15,000 votes, but she does make it to November.
- Josh Newman will square off against Ling Ling Chang for SD-29; Newman owes his victory to Fullerton developer Tony Bushala’s aggressive campaign against Sukhee Kang. If there is a sacrificial lamb running in November, it’s Newman. The Democratic Party could have had a well-financed candidate with a boatload of endorsements and a built in-base that works well against Chang. Instead, we have a first time candidate that Chang will likely rip to shreds who won’t have the financial means to fight back. And even if Newman wins, he’ll be beholden to Bushala who will expect some return on his investment.
- In the First District supervisors race, Andrew Do beat Michelle Martinez by just 200 votes despite having a huge fundraising advantage. Do hobbles to November beaten up badly by Phat Bui and Martinez will have the Latino wave cresting for November and none of the distractions of other candidates to worry about. Democrats have an excellent chance to take Do’s seat in November.
- With the exception of Sharon Quirk-Silva’s win in AD-65, the OC Labor Fed had a very bad night. Joe Dunn lost big. Sukhee Kang lost big. Tom Daly won big. They did nothing to help Michele Martinez, Karina Onofre, or Sean Panahi. There haven’t been a lot of bright spots in the political arena for the OC Labor Fed in some time; perhaps they are out of step with voters or carrying on personal grudges that hurt working people more than help them. What is clear is the OC Labor Fed unions clearly don’t have the influence that they think they have. Perhaps its time for new leadership more willing with work with Democrats who win elections than hold grudges against them.
- With Steven Choi’s second loss in an Assembly race, the betting money is he’ll make a third run for mayor (he can due to a reset of term limits passed in 2014). But there’s also a rumor he’s tired of being on the city council and Don Wagner is reportedly being pushed by FivePoint to run. With Gang Chen in the race as a Republican, Chen’s candidacy can pull between 5 and 10 percent of the Republican vote his way. With Hillary Clinton on top of the ballot, Democrats leading Irvine voter registration over Republicans by more than 1,000 registered voters, a fractured Irvine Republican “team,” and a high turnout presidential year, it’s not out of the question that Mary Ann Gaido will be elected mayor with two Democrats replacing Beth Krom and Christina Shea on the ballot. FivePoint is going to have to spend a lot on IEs; there is no Agran on the ballot so watch IEs stretch the truth to connect any Democrat running to Larry Agran. It’s their only hope.
Lastly, a thank you is in order. I was on the ballot for the first time since I ran (and won) for student body president in high school. I ran for a spot on the DPOC Central Committee in AD-68 and finished fifth overall with 9,155 votes or 12.7%. I was the top vote getter for non-incumbents.
What I particularly enjoyed about this quiet race conducted mostly via email and social media was hearing from the many kids I coached in Irvine in baseball, soccer and basketball dating back to the late 1990s, as well as kids in my cub scout troop, the neighborhood swim league and neighbors. I got dozens of emails with the same sort of message: “I voted for you Coach Dan.” So even if I had lost, I won.
Thanks again for those who supported by candidacy and to my family for giving me the green light to do this. I look forward to participating in the DPOC Central Committee with a focus on going after Republicans instead of punishing fellow Democrats, which seems to be in vogue these days. Time to brush up on Roberts Rules of Order.