Final Roster (Minus Write-Ins) for March 3 Primary

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[Note: I’m starting a new post on who’s running in March for people to use as a reference, now that we have a full list of candidates for public office the March 2020 primary and I don’t have to include predictions about who might and might not file. This post won’t include write-in candidates (though I may update it) or Central Committee candidates (as that’s a private office, though it will eventually a be covered in a separate post), but the legislative offices are straight from the Secretary of State’s final listings, so that’s as official as you can get.  I’m including commentary after some of the races — and there will be more. – GAD]


  • Congress

  • State Senate

  • State Assembly

  • [Judges]

  • Supervisor

  • President (by Party)

Beckie Gomez, Andy Thorburn, and Ashleigh Aitken are running for seats on county boards.



Democratic incumbent (and dark horse Vice-Presidential nominee) Linda Sanchez has one competitor for this seat, a Democratic Whitter resident named Michael Tolar.  This will be extremely unexciting!


Gil Cisneros and Young Kim are joined by Chino NPP Steve Cox in what will be (in November) a 1-on-1 rematch between them.  Cox is from out of the district, unless he is in Chino Hills, but that won’t be his biggest difficulty.


Democratic incumbent Katie Porter will face SIX! [6!] Republicans — four serious (Mayor of Mission Viejo) Greg Raths, “Deputy Attorney General” Peggy Huang, Laguna Hills Mayor Don Sedgwick, and OCBOE member Lisa Sparks , as well as Christopher Gonzales and Rhonda Furin.    Porter has easily earned re-election, from a Democratic standpoint, but I’ll have an endorsement from among the other six — and alert readers know who it will be.  (And no, it’s not her weakest opponent, just her most admirable one.)


The race here is between two Democrats: incumbent Lou Correa and newcomer Pablo Mendiolea, who has been picking up a lot of support among the reform sectors of the party.  Pablo’s first task is to get by one Republican, James Waters, and two NPP candidates:  Will Johnson and Ed Rushman.  Pablo has a decent shot at making the runoff against Correa, who — lest we forget — was censured by the Democratic Party last year for endorsing the Republican candidates for Sheriff and District Attorney.  Pablo does not have a candidate statement — while Waters and Rushman do — but should have a lot of nice endorsements from the Democratic wing of the … you know.


Worthy incumbent Alan Lowenthal is from the Los Angeles half of this district. Three other Dems are running: Peter Mathews of Long Beach and Jalen Dupree McLeod of ,,, Pasadena?  That’s far from in the district — with Congress, that’s permissible — but maybe that’s a business or Treasurer’s address.  Three OC Republicans are running: John Briscoe, Sou Moua, and Amy Phan West.  That’s a lot of people.


Incumbent Harley Rouda will face five challengers, none of them a Democrat.  Richard Mata is an American Independent; the four Republicans are Michelle SteelBrian Burley, James Brian Griffin, and John Thomas Schuesler.  All have normal candidate statements except for Griffin and Mata, who have e-statements.  Rouda will make the runoff; as the only woman, Steel could hardly ask for a better draw among the competitors.


Not-as-bad-as-expected Democratic incumbent Mike Levin will face Republican Brian Maryott in both March and November.


Senate District 29

Should-be incumbent Josh Newman is joined on the ballot by fellow Dem Joseph Cho — who ran against Josh in the recall, which was highly unhelpful — and usurper incumbent Ling-Ling Chang.

Senate District 37

Incumbent Republican John Moorlach, Vern’s humorous libertarian buddy, is running for reelection and will be joined on the ballot by Democrats Katrina Foley and Dave Min in what is shaping up as a nasty race for the second slot.  Min has been a nemesis of Katie Porter and Foley has been a nemesis of her  Costa Mesa’s City Council colleague Sandy Genis.  I’ll give Min the chance to answer the accusations made against him that led me to call for no endorsement at the CDP convention last year, when now-disgraced then-Chair Eric Bauman pretended not to hear me, and I’ll give Foley the chance to rebut my complaints that she drove Genis away from the Democrat-dominated majority coalition.  I’ll probably ask Moorlach whether we really need two Republican State Senators with beachfront districts.  (After all, the State’s Eastern Border gets by with only one Democratic State Senator.)



The uppermost of OC’s seven Assembly Districts, is the only one that crosses county lines.  (It’s in three counties, in fact.)  Incumbent Republican Phillip Chen, who will be challenged, in both March and November, by current mayor of Walnut Andrew Rodriguez, a Democrat.  The question here, especially for Rodriguez; is how hard to run in November: my advice is to go all out on volunteers — use it to get the rust off of the campaign machinery — but to spend money concentrated using different methods (road signs here, door hangers there; canvassing here, targeted social media there) to test the power of different potential investments.


Incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva is up against Cynthia Thacker.  Neither of them bought a candidate statement, which was the right move, but favors the better-known incumbent.  I don’t recall whether Sharon has ever won a primary before 2018, but she’s only lost once in November, and she should win this one.


This one pits two Democrats against two Republicans, with one officeholder and one non-officeholder in each party.  The officeholders are Republican incumbent (and former Irvine Mayor) Steven Choi and current Irvine Councilwoman Melissa Fox, a Democrat.  The newcomers are Republican Benjamin Yu and Democrat Eugene Fields.


This is the most liberal Assembly District in Orange County, currently held by the most conservative Democratic Assembly member in the state, Tom Daly.  Like Lou Correa in the overlapping Congressional seat, he was also censured by the DPOC last year.  One Republican, Jon Paul White, is also in the race.  Honestly, the Green Party missed a great opportunity here: there is ample room on the left.  (But kudos to Daly for recently criticizing Arte Moreno.  Baby steps.)


Famously corrupt Republican incumbent Tyler Diep will run against famously corrupt Republican challenger (and former State Senator) Janet Nguyen, in a retread of the “Trannies vs. jannies” fights of yore.  On the Democratic side, there’s a legitimate candidate in Democratic Garden Grove City Council Member “Diedre” Thu-Ha Nguyen, and a potential spoiler in Democrat Bijan Mohseni, who could siphon off enough votes from Diedre to lead to a red-on-red runoff.


OC’s Southern Cone has an odd race where three Republicans — disgraces incumbent Bill Brough, Laguna Niguel Mayor Laurie Davies,and Mission Viejo Councilman Ed Sachs will compete against two Democrats, 2018 runoff participant Scott Rhinehart and Chris Duncan.  Had Duncan not entered the race, Rhinehart would have been very likely to make the Top Two, rather than somewhat less likely.  And given the expected acrimony between Brough and his competitors, a Democrat really could win in November — if he makes the runoff.


OLD NEWS: Democratic incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris will likely make the primary, given the competitive Presidential primary, against one of Republicans Diane Dixon and Kelly Ernby.


Move along, nothing to see here.  (Until November!)

OK, OK — Tony Ferrentino in Seat 4 is running unopposed.


District 1

Incumbent Beckie Gomez has two opponents this year: Jim Palmer and Steve Rocco.  Given that she’s the incumbent and it’s a “plurality wins” race, Rocco’s being in this race actually helps her, because he’s not taking away votes from the incumbent.

District 3

Disgusting incumbent Ken L. Williams is challenged by Democrat Andy Thorburn.  I suspect that even Republicans would like to get rid of Williams as much as Democrats want to elect Thorburn — that is, a lot.

District 4

La Habra Republican Tim Shaw will face three Democrats: Fullerton’s Paulette Chaffee, Fullerton’s (I think) Vicki Calhoun, and Anaheim’s Jordan Brandman, who got into the ballot at the very end of the process because, perhaps, it makes him feel powerful.  This is a “plurality wins” race, so Tin Shaw will be thanking Jordan in March.


District 1

Republican incumbent Andrew Do will face Democrats Sergio Contreras, Miguel Pulido, and Kim Bernice Nguyen.  As bad of a Supervisor and Do is, Pulido would be even worse.  We’ll see whether Contreras or Nguyen is better able to put up a fight.  One problem I have — and maybe Vern can verify or falsify this — is that Kim Nguyen is the same Kim Nguyen as we covered at the time of Garden Grove Districting, in which event she’s Lou Correa’s catspaw.  If so, nerts to that!

District 3

It will be Democrat Ashleigh Aitken vs. Republican incumbent Don Wagner, which should be quite a nice fight.



In ballot order: Julian Castro, Michael Ellinger, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, Rocky de le Fuente III, John Delaney, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Deval Patrick, Michael Bennet, Michael Bloomberg. Mosie Boyd, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard, Mark Stewart Greenstein.  (That’s 20.)


Robert Ardini, Joe Walsh, Bill Weld, Rocky de la Fuente, Matthew John Matern, Xoltan Istvan, Donald Trump.


Phil Collins, Rocky de la Fuente, Charles Kraut, J. R. Myers, Don Blankenship


David Rolde, Howie Hawkins, Dario Hunter, Dennis Lambert, Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry


Ken Armstrong, Max Abramson, Sam Robb, Kim Ruff, Steven A. Richey, Jacob Hornberger, Souraya Faas, Keenan Wallace Dunham, Adam Koresh, Vermin Supreme, Jo Jorgensen, Dan Behrman, Erik Chase Gerhardt


Howie Hawkins, Gloria La Riva

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 (in violation of Roberts Rules) when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Expelled from DPOC in October 2018 (in violation of Roberts Rules) for having endorsed Spitzer over Rackauckas -- which needed to be done. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. One of his daughters co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)