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As Orange Juice Blog noted in its Pulitzer-Prize winning (or so we anticipate) coverage of the political strategy behind the AD-65 election, the race will likely be decided based on how well Sharon Quirk-Silva can activate voters “south of the freeways” — southern Buena Park, La Palma, Cypress, Stanton, and most of all West Anaheim. Quirk-Silva will unveil her approach to that election tomorrow, July 1, with the grand opening of her campaign office at 1660 W. Lincoln in Anaheim (just east of Euclid.) Quirk-Silva shares the office with Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who has gone from represented a sliver of Anaheim to all of the Anaheim Flats.
(By the way, “Anaheim Flats” only has 338 hits on Google right now — most of them referring to the British term for “apartment” rather than as the counterpart to the Anaheim Hills. Especially with the new ACLU lawsuit to force Anaheim into districts, more about which later, Orange Juice Blog dedicates itself to upping that number considerably between now and November. Also, as a matter of full disclosure, the author of this piece is running for State Senate in a district that overlaps all of AD-65 except for most of Buena Park, and supports the Congressional candidacies of Jay Chen, Linda Sanchez, and Alan Lowenthal, who between them cover the rest of the district.)
Quirk-Silva lost to incumbent Chris Norby in her primary, in which she did not campaign, by about 9000 votes, roughly 30,000 to 21,000. Looking at the numbers city by city, though, one sees nothing but upside for her.
Fullerton had an especially high 29.33% turnout, despite the recall election coming when the students at its colleges were out on summer vacation, with Norby outpolling Quirk Silva by 11,867 to 8,118, or 59.4%. This result was of course fueled by the Fullerton Recall, which added votes to Bushala ally Norby’s side of the ledger. In November, there will be no recall, the students will be back, the new Fullerton Council majority will have had its own chance to piss off the electorate, and the Presidential election will draw out many more voters, especially Democrats who didn’t come out this time. Quirk-Silva doesn’t need to win Fullerton to win the election, she just needs to hold her own. If she can get Norby’s 59.4% down to 55% or so, she can make up the difference elsewhere.
Anaheim: If you want to see evidence for Quirk-Silva’s chances, look no further. Anaheim had a miserable 19.79% turnout — and this is before the massive voter registration efforts that you can expect to see there over the next few months — which won’t be the case in November. Norby won the city 5,680 to 4,418. Democrats come out for Presidential elections. The question is whether Anaheim, without about 17,000 fewer registered voters than Fullerton, can counteract it. Don’t expect Norby’s extreme libertarianism to play well here!
Buena Park: 20.91% turnout; Norby led 4,433 to 2,977. Again, fertile territory for registering and turning out Democrats and independents.
Cypress: Somewhat neutral territory for the two candidates. Turnout was 27.78% — again, with college out of session — and Norby won 4,440 to 2,582. This is one of the cities where Alan Lowenthal’s district overlaps with AD-65 — and he should have some money to spend on turnout!
La Palma: Much like Cypress, 26.93% turnout, Norby won 1,329 to 867. Quirk-Silva’s secret weapon here? Linda Sanchez, who is a sure bet in her new 38th Congressional district, has La Palma as well. She could conceivably pour her resources into Democratic turnout in La Palma. (Why not? It would make her sister happy!)
Stanton: Stanton had a respectable 22.56% turnout, probably due in part to an important ballot proposition there. Norby prevailed 1,573 to 1,484. Still, I think that Stanton is fertile territory for a Democrat — possibly because I out-polled my opponent Bob Huff there 1,566 to 1,444! (The difference there is likely due to Norby’s greater OC name recognition compared to Huff’s.)
It’s reasonable to consider Stanton as essentially combined with West Anaheim for purposes of this district, with their combined registration equal to that of Fullerton. If Quirk-Silva can hold off Norby in Fullerton — and she has a perfect platform from which to criticize the new Fullerton City Council majority’s overreach — and build up support in Anaheim Stanton — she can offset him there. North Buena Park is much like Fullerton and South Buena Park is much like West Anaheim; call that a draw too. That would leave the election to be determined by Cypress and La Palma — not exactly libertarian revolutionary paradise!
This will be a fascinating race to watch this year — and the best view of it starts tomorrow, at 1660 Lincoln Ave in Anaheim, from 1:00 to 3:00!