Orange County Republican Party endorses Shari Freidenrich OC Treasurer

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Last night the Orange County Republican Party conducted their endorsement meeting inside the Pavilion of Irvine’s Hyatt Hotel. This three hour meeting of members, candidates and supporters was held 6 weeks before the Nov 2nd General Election.

The meeting began with a surprise visit by Florida Senate Candidate Marco Rubio who, after a brief recap of his campaign and thanking the party for our support, led us in the pledge of allegiance.

After a presentation by endorsement committee chair Mark Bucher on the new vetting process and a summary of their recommendations Chairman Baugh opened the meeting to all members. A listing of 28 recommended and no recommendation candidates was distributed to all voting members. Of that listing a handful were pulled for consideration and debate.

Each of these applicants were permitted to have three minutes to persuade the Central Committee to grant their request. The applicants could invite members or friends to speak on their behalf within that timeframe.

The first candidates to address the body were Shari Freidenrich and Keith Rodenhuis competing for the post of OC Treasurer/Tax Collector. Speaking in support of Shari were Supervisor John Moorlach, Congressman Dana Rohrbacher and Deborah Pauley.
Speaking on behalf of Keith were Lee Lowry who referenced a letter supporting Keith from past Chair Tom Fuentes and Allan Bartlett. Member Craig Alexander suggested with two GOP candidates the party should stay out of this race.

Without providing specifics of all speaker remarks the one area that was not explained by Mr. Rodenhuis was the fact that after moving to OC from LA 5 years ago he registered DTS rather than Republican. He danced around the question which he never answered. That evasive response to his DTS surely impacted the final vote where Shari obtained 75 percent of the votes cast, more than the 2/3ds required.

Other endorsements from the pulled listing:

In the city of Fullerton Bruce Whitaker in the 2 year city council race.

In the city of Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece.

In the city of Mission Viejo Rhonda Reardon received 75% of the votes cast.

In Laguna Hills the committee endorsed council member Melody Carruth

Final point. As the Chair could not determine the outcome by voice votes, the members were asked to stand where an actual count was taken to avoid any disputes.

About Larry Gilbert