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Santa Ana Police Union triumphs: Ceci out, Nelida in.

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Cecilia Iglesias has been recalled; Nelida Mendoza (2nd from right) will replace her.


The 8:05 report has the absentees that arrives early enough to tabulate before today.


Vote by Mail Ballots:None
Vote Center Ballots:None
Ballots Cast: 19,796
Registered Voters 111,742
0% Fully Reporting
0 Total Precincts

City of Santa Ana, Member, City Council: Shall Celcilia Iglesias be recalled (removed) from office?

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
6,846 42.80%
5,760 36.01%
3,389 21.19%



Vote by Mail Ballots: None
Vote Center Ballots: None
Ballots Cast 19,823
Registered Voters 111,742
Fully Reporting 0
Total Precincts
Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
10,952 55.76%
8,689 44.24%

Contest: Candidates to succeed Cecilia Iglesias if she is recalled, for the duration of her term?, VOTE FOR 1

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
6,853 42.80%
5,768 36.02%
3,391 21.18%


May 19, 2020 City of Santa Ana Special Recall Election


Ballots Cast 21,346
Registered Voters 111,742
Fully Reporting 0
Total Precincts
Showing 2 of 2 contests

Contest: City of Santa Ana Member, City Council – Shall Cecilia Iglesias be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member for Ward 6?, VOTE FOR 1

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
11,781 55.69%
9,375 44.31%

Contest: Candidates to succeed Cecilia Iglesias if she is recalled, for the duration of her term?, VOTE FOR 1

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
THAI VIET PHAN 6,178 35.86%
ANGIE CANO 3,604 20.92%


  • With just under 250 votes left to count, which may be supplemented by a few more vote-by-mail ballots arriving Thursday and Friday, the Yes vote on the recall has easily clinched a win.
  • Having picked up 592 votes today, Nelida Mendoza has clinched a victory over Thai Viet Phan, who picked up 410.  Angie Cano picked up 213 votes.
  • 11,781 voters supported the recall.  That compared to 13,623 who voted for the two Democratic Challengers, who voted for Phan.
  • Including Angie Cano, 17,227 voters voted for a replacement.  If we presume that all 11,781 supporters of the recall voted for a replacement, that means that 5,446 voters who opposed the recall also voted for a replacement.
  • That means that 3,929 of the 9,375 voters opposing the recall did not vote for a replacement.  Had they all voted for Cano, a protege of Iglesias who actively and publicly opposed the recall, she would have narrowly beaten Mendoza.
  • Like Cano, Phan opposed the expenses that were sought by SAPOA.  That means that 9,159 voters supported a replacement candidate who openly opposed SAPOA’s position.  The position of Mendoza, who received 7,445 votes, on SAPOA position was never clarified, at least to OJB.

Vern: Phan said she wouldn’t take any SAPOA money, while Nelida said she’d have no problem with it.



Ballots Cast: 21,534
Registered Voters: 111,742
Fully Reporting: 86
Total Precincts: 86
Contest: City of Santa Ana Member, City Council – Shall Cecilia Iglesias be recalled (removed) from the office of City Council Member for Ward 6?, VOTE FOR 1

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
11,870 55.63%
9,469 44.37%
Contest: Candidates to succeed Cecilia Iglesias if she is recalled, for the duration of her term?, VOTE FOR 1

Candidate Name Total Votes Percentage
7,509 43.21%
6,236 35.89%
3,632 20.90%

Again, the most important thing to not in the long run is that the more or less pro-SAPOA candidate got only 43.21% of the vote.  Mendoza won because Cano split the vote with Phan.  Giving the police everything they want is the minority position — even in a small special election where SAPOA held the advantage.

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.)


  1. Well, the Santa Ana Police union has triumphed doubly – removing the one critical voice on Council, and replacing her NOT with Thai Viet Phan, who would have been a better critical voice of the police and developers, but Nelida Mendoza who signals that she will not.

    Thai is however able to run again in Ward 1 this fall, and we should all support her.

    • Panfila

      Nelida Mendoza is all about personal gain. She is a snake-in-the-grass and will likely not win the fall election.

  2. Paul Lucas

    Isnt Mendoza on the rsccd board? Can she hold two offices?

    • Panfila

      She will leave that office. Good riddance.

  3. Greg Diamond

    SAPOA will be gunning for Thai, but as noted in the story most voters supported candidates with positions opposed to SAPOA’s. (We’ll have figures for Ward 1 specifically before long.) The bigger problem they fact is that it is pretty clear that their last set of demands killed the golden goose and will hurtle (or at best steam) Santana towards bankruptcy. Their best tactic will be to get several other candidates, ideally Asian-Americans with anti-SAPOA platforms, to split the vote. So if you see anyone making gestures in that direction, tell them to cut it out.

  4. Panfila

    Only pendejos could have voted for the like of Mendoza.

  5. Ryan Cantor

    Total compensation for Gerry Serrano in 2019: $534,074.

    Anyone want to guess how many police officials and officers made over $400k in compensation?

    How about over $200k?

  6. POA Stooge

    I thought POA supported Pham given that her two council supporters are POA stooges: Becerra & Penaloza.

    • It’s hard to make any conclusions about Phan (that’s how it’s spelled) versus Nelida based on the politicians who lined up behind them. Maybe POA issues are more important to some people than others. Also, Bacerra (that’s how it’s spelled) is turning out not quite as bad as we thought he would.

      All I know about Phan is when I asked her about police issues and 2525 on Facebook (and I’ve come to value what politicians tell me in PUBLIC much more than what they’ll assure me in private) she quickly answered:

      “I appreciate you asking these questions. I was at the City Council meeting in February 2019 stating that I didn’t support the raise at the time because the figures didn’t match up–we couldn’t afford it. I have stated publicly my support for a police oversight commission and we need to review current policies and procedures to see how they’re being implemented. I have also opposed the 2525 N. Main development since the beginning and have stated so publicly, because I don’t think the project has benefits for residents.”

      She had also announced that she would refuse POA money, while Nelida said she’d have no problem accepting it.

      So I’m hoping Thai Viet Phan will run again in the Fall for Ward 1, and I’ll support her.

  7. Ron & Anna Winship

    *”All Politics is local..” said Tip O’Neill. and “You get the Government …you deserve!” and we don’t know who said that first…. Of course, under Politics 101….never go against Police, Firefighters, Teachers or Nurses…and you will be fine! Of course when your City goes Bankrupt….you can always “Blame it on the Bossa Nova”.

  8. POA

    Bacerra is that bad. I rule our sexual predators & abusers when I vote. Bacerra is both & a douche bag

  9. Greg Diamond

    Added the final election returns, with a little extra commentary, at the end.

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