Movers and Shakers

Welcome to our latest feature – a monthly look at how the politicians in Orange County are faring. Most months we will divide the politicos into winners, losers and those who are stuck at neutral. This month’s column features a poker theme…with “Fold em,” “Bluff,” and “Raise em” replacing the usual terms. Now ante up!

Fold em!

Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees…Watergate-style hijinks cost them big time when illicit lists of opponents get outed in the local media. One sweep…coming up!

Santa Ana Councilmember Carlos “Bubba Gump” Bustamante…wants GOP support, but doesn’t help fellow Republicans – not a good mix!

Santa Ana Councilman Mike Garcia…promising political career cut short by Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and friends

Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Harvey De La Torre…Friend of Bustamante and Garcia, chooses not to run for Garcia’s seat in Ward 6 – ends up missing the boat as Pulido gets behind an unknown 28-year-old, Jennifer Villasenor, for Garcia’s seat.

Santa Ana School Board Member Audrey Noji…doesn’t get support from the local teacher’s union – and may not get any help from her friends at the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce.

State Senator Joe Dunn…blown away in June by an unknown Asian legislator from the Bay Area – and will end up likely having to face off against rising GOP star Janet Nguyen for Lou Correa’s seat on the OC Board of Supervisors, if it opens up. And Nguyen already has $100K in the bank!

U.S. Representative Gary Miller…real estate shenanigans catch up with him…who will run for his seat when he gets the Duke Cunningham treatment?

Westminster School Board Member James Reed…blew it when he voted to fire their new superintendent, Kim-Oanh Nguyen-Lam, and then the teacher’s union pulled their support for his reelection. Now he is out of the race altogether…smells like justice!


Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor…facing an insurrection in the form of the “Return to Reason” group, but daily gang killings underscore his point that crime is an issue in his city.

GOP 34th Senate District Candidate Lynn Daucher…picking up steam, but will Democrat opponent Lou Correa get the money he needs to take the victory? Word is some of the unions are still mad at him for leaving the OC Board of Supervisors prematurely.

GOP 47th Congressional District Candidate Tan Nguyen…spends a small fortune and blows GOP opponent Rosie Avila out of the water in June…but will OC GOP step up and help him in general election?

GOP 69th Assembly Disrict Candidate Ryan Gene Williams…seen all over town, but will hanging out with Democrats and Log Cabin Republicans pay off?

OC Sheriff Mike Carona…wins, barely, but steps in it when he goes after his opponent after the election – and when he rips OC Supervisor Chris Norby after his silly and useless surveys are called into question.

Santa Ana Council Member Claudia Alvarez…Destroyed by fellow council member Jose Solorio in June…but recruited a candidate to replace Mike Garcia in Ward 6. Does her protege Sal Tinajero have what it takes to defeat Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido’s chosen one, Jennifer Villasenor? If he does, Alvarez may be working on a new council majority in a few months.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido…almost runs without competition; kills off major competitor Mike Garcia; but ends up facing emerging Republican threat Thomas Gordon…

San Clemente City Council Members, Mayor Wayne Eggleston and Joe Anderson…screwed by OC GOP machine consultant Adam Probolsky – end up withdrawing their request for OC GOP endorsement.

Raise em!

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle…almost runs for reelection unchallenged – and his eventual challenger has no chance.

Democrat candidate for the 69th Assembly District Jose Solorio…Trounced all comers in June, and looks to be cruising at this point. Could he be superseding his friend Mayor Miguel Pulido as the new Latino political star from Santa Ana? But will his vegetarian diet make him a weirdo in Sacramento?

GOP State Senate Leader Dick Ackerman…caught a lot of flak for recruiting Lynn Daucher to run for the 34th State Senate District – but now a virtual lock for the U.S. House of Representatives if Gary Miller gets the boot.

OC Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly…hires Jean Pasco away from the fading Times, which is a huge win, but will he move into the First Supervisorial District and run for Lou Correa’s seat, if it opens up?

OC Supervisor Chris Norby…destroys his opponent in June, and then takes on OC Sheriff Mike Carona and OC Consultant Scott Baugh. Can we give Bill Campbell some of Norby’s “Wheaties?”

Santa Ana School Board Member John Palacio…survives school bond disaster and recall of amigo Nativo Lopez – and now a shoo-in for reelection with no real competition emerging.

Santa Ana Mayoral Candidate Thomas Gordon…catches Pulido ally Mike Harrah when he screws up a demolition project in downtown…and ends up running against Pulido after Councilman Garcia pulls out of the race. Is an OC GOP endorsement in his future? Already getting support from both Democrats and Republicans…

I probably missed a few politicos in this column – so let me know your thoughts!

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.