The 2014 State and County Office Field is Set! (Barring the Unexpected)


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The filing period for state and county offices has finished.  Barring write-in candidacies, it’s all over except the litigatin’.

Three positions — CA-45, AD-74, and County Auditor Controller — were widely understood to still be open, thanks respectively to the refusals of eligible incumbents John Campbell, Allan Mansoor, and Jan Grimes to run for their seats.  (According to some sources, SD-32, SD-34, and SD-36 also remained open, because of some arcane magic related to redistricting, but I figured that if anyone really wanted to find out about those they should have done so by themselves.)

Being Decommissioned

This is a good time to say goodbye to two incumbents that we know won’t be coming back of their own volition. We’re not absolutely sure that Allan Mansoor won’t be back, so we chose to depict a different entity being decommissioned.

A total of six candidates completed their filing.  In CA-45, No Party Preferencer Al Salehi — it says “Sale-Hi,” but that looks like a typo — with the ballot designation (Trustee, Buena Park Library District) joins Democrat Drew Leavens (Educator/Businessman) and Republican Greg Raths (Retired Colonel/Businessman) in the race to derail State Senator Mimi Walters’s road to Congress.  I prefer all three challengers to Walters, and I don’t even know anything about Salehi beyond the above information — except that he isn’t Walters.

In AD-74, Republicans Karina Onofre and Emanuel Patrescu join party-mates Keith Curry and Matt Harper against Anila Ali — who could probably make the runoff with a 25-30% share of the vote.  (For comparison purposes, in the 2012 primary race involving Allan Mansoor and Leslie Daigle, Democrat Robert Rush got about 33% of the vote and 43% in the November runoff.)

In the Auditor-Controller‘s race, James Benuzzi (Audit/Business Advisor) is no longer all alone on the ballot.  On Monday, Mike “Mike” Dalati — which the ROV assures me is not a misprint, but how he wants “wants” it — an Accountant/Tax Instructor, made “made” the ballot.  Today, the three others who had taken out papers joined them.  That means that Eric Woolery (Orange Treasurer/CPA), John Wayne Willard (Assistant Director HR), and Frank Davies (Deputy Auditor-Controller) round out the field.  Woolery has been claiming that he has tremendous amounts of money, so he’s off my list.  I’m interested in hearing about Davies’s reputation within the county government — and whether he has the endorsement of Jan Grimes.

From the Gossip Desk: OJB has been informed that today’s filers Karina Onofre and Mike “Mike” Dalati are an item, despite that Mike “Mike” is supposedly a Democrat “Democrat.”  (His better known brother Bill Dalati left the GOP for the Dems in late 2006.)

I’ve been told of only two ballot designations currently being challenged: 2nd Supe candidate Michelle Steel’s designation of “Taxpayer Advocate/Businesswoman” — really, now, did she read the rules? — and Young Kim’s “Small Businesswoman,” which is just sad.  She does not appear to be making money through her business, and if this somehow remains I’m going to have great fun assessing how much business she is doing (apparently “none”) and with whom.  Given that her story about the business diverges from that of her advisor, “Odious Dave” Gilliard, and that one’s designation is supposed to refer to income over the past year, well into her period of being Ed Royce’s highly compensated social director (or whatever her title was officially), I’d say that her ballot designation should be more along the lines of “Small Fibber.”

There’s more — but it can wait.  For previous races, see here; for final developments on races closing Friday, here, and for developments from earlier this week, see here.  (And if anyone feels like combining those three with this one for the integrated final word, please do!)

Postscript:  While I was searching for Bill Dalati’s party identification, this old newspaper article came up from Hussam Ayloush’s personal website:

GOP Leader Says Anaheim Council Candidate Backs Extremist Groups Syrian-born Bill Dalati focuses on America’s enemies, Web note says. Dalati says his faith and heritage are being questioned.
By Dave McKibben
Times Staff Writer

October 9, 2006

A state Republican party leader has roiled a sleepy Anaheim City Council race with allegations that an Arab American candidate is anti-American and supports extremist groups.

The accusations against Bill Dalati, an insurance agent who was born in Syria and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1987, surfaced last week in a letter from former state Republican Party chairman Shawn Steel and on various websites. On the OC Blog, a politically conservative website, the headline atop the letter opposing Dalati’s candidacy read “Something Scary in Anaheim.”

Steel, the state GOP leader from 2001 to 2003, said he wrote the letter to alert fellow conservatives that Dalati — a moderate Republican — could be a “Manchurian candidate.”

“He looks good on the outside, but the guy could be an extremist,” Steel said Friday. “Is his primary concern to fix the potholes and improve the city, or does he really have an agenda here to support extremist organizations and cloak them with respectability?”

In the letter, Steel questioned Dalati’s connections to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, later calling CAIR a “pretty radical, nasty group.” He also cited Dalati’s involvement with an Anaheim rally protesting the Israel-Lebanon conflict, and his endorsement of Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney of Georgia, a Democrat.

Dalati, who came to the U.S. in 1984 and has been an Anaheim resident for 12 years, said he was frustrated and angered by the letter.

“I need to be out on the campaign trail, not worrying about all this negative stereotyping,”
Dalati said. “People should look at the issues, not where I came from. Everybody came from somewhere. It’s clear that my faith and my heritage are the reason they don’t want me around.”

Dalati, a 41-year-old Muslim, doesn’t deny that he supports CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights group in the country and largely viewed as a mainstream organization. Local Republican law enforcement officials such as Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca have attended the local chapter’s fundraisers.

Hussam Ayloush, director of CAIR’s Southern California chapter, in Anaheim, said Steel had a history of making “Islamaphobic” comments.

So, Mrs. Steel, I’d like to know — does your husband Shawn still hold this sort of Islamaphobic perspective?

Do you?


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.