The Orange Juice: Political News & Views from Orange County

By: Art Pedroza

January 13, 2004 Update

Happy New Year to all our readers! I’ve been away tending to my family and a new job (as a regional manager for an industrial contractor) and so this update has been a bit late in coming – but here it is, and as usual there is a lot going on.

Cristich devored in 70th Assembly District

Cristi Cristich has a lot of money, but her main opponent for the Assembly seat currently held by John Campbell, Chuck Devore, is apparently trouncing her by a margin of 24% to 11% in poll numbers recently issued by the DeVore campaign. DeVore also reports that he has been endorsed by the Orange County CRA (California Republican Assembly) units by an overwhelming margin. Cristich outraised DeVore in the 4th quarter by a two to one margin, but her numbers indicate that her campaign may be stalling. Interestingly, Don Wagner, an attorney and school board member, is trailing Cristich by only 2%.

DeVore also reports that over the last half of last year he raised $94,257, which almost measured up to the $107,769 raised by Cristich. She also outspent DeVore by over $100,000, but apparently her advertising has not been very effective as DeVore is leading comfortably.

The race is far from over, but other candidates in the county tell me that the various campaigns for the 70th Assembly District are sucking up all of the money in the county. They are of course annoyed by that, but the seat is important and the primary is a defacto general as whichever Republican wins it is sure to win the general.

Marianne Zippi, the dark horse conservative that is also challenging DeVore and Cristich, came in second in the CRA endorsement balloting. Sorry Zippi – politics is a lot like sports, and second place winners are always forgotten after the big game.

Gibson optimistic in the 73rd Assembly District

Conservative school board member Jim Gibson doesn’t have the media profile and money of his two chief Republican opponents for the Assembly seat currently held by Pat Bates, but that isn’t stopping him. He recently announced an endorsement by national radio figure Jim Dobson, a darling of conservatives, and he, like DeVore in the 70th, was also endorsed by the Orange County CRA units. Gibson received 90% of the CRA endorsement votes.

Santa Ana Democrats riled by Rosie Avila

Democrats in Santa Ana are up in arms because popular conservative school board member Rosie Avila is supporting the parental notification ballot measure that would prevent abortion clinics from doing their business on underage girls without telling parents about it. Avila has always marched to her own drum beat, and I commend her for once more standing tall against the liberals in Santa Ana. To find out more about the measure go to

That’s it for now – more to follow in our next blog.

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