New elected officials celebrate at Santa Ana event

I attended the South Santa Ana Merchant’s Association (SSAMA) event last night, at Doffo’s Auto Body & Paint, located at 1606 S. Main St. Newly elected officials were given an opportunity to meet the public and the members of SSAMA. The event was free, and the food (from Maggiano’s) was fantastic. I enjoyed catching up with a lot of folks I had not seen in years and I also met a lot of activists for the first time.

New State Senator Lou Correa was there – and I told him I had heard that they would be serving crow so I showed up to get a big plate of it. That got a grimace out of him – but we spoke for a few minutes and I assured him that I like him personally but feel duty-bound as a Republican to oppose him every time he runs. I think he gets it, but you could tell he was relieved to have won and to be able to put the tough race behind him.

New State Assemblyman Jose Solorio was there as well. He got up and said a few words towards the end, but I was busy chatting with a few other folks so I don’t know what he talked about. I’m sure it was fascinating. I wonder why he looked so glum in the picture I took of him (at right)? C’mon Jose – you won! Enjoy the moment – once you get to Sacramento you know I will be writing about every check you accept and every law you try to advance.

I enjoyed having dinner with Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Alfredo Amezcua and his daughter. And I caught up with Teresa Saldivar, whom I had not seen in years. She owns a jewelry shop in downtown Santa Ana – I will have to go visit her this year as my wife and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary. I think it is going to be an expensive occasion!

Most of the Santa Ana City Council was there, as were some of the unsuccessful council candidates. Mayor Miguel Pulido showed up with his kids, who are quite adorable, and new councilman Sal Tinajero showed up with his cute little boy as well. If this keeps up I will have to start bringing my toddler to these events!

There was an embarrassing moment when someone from the association announced that Councilwoman Jennifer Villasenor could not make it. Oops! Someone immediately corrected him and Tinajero was introduced as the victor of Ward 6. As an aside, I have yet to see Villasenor anywhere in the city since her loss. Hmmm….

New Councilman David Benavides made a stink when he approached Council Member Claudia Alvarez and told her to keep quiet if she wants to be Mayor Pro Tem. Excuse me – who made Benavides the king maker of Santa Ana? Give me a break! I warned you guys about Benavides. The power is already going to his head! I am so going to keep an eye on him!!! Memo to David Benavides – I will be writing about every little thing you do on the Council, so get ready.

New Councilwoman Michele Martinez was there and she was stunning in her new hairstyle and a very glamorous outfit. You go Michele! I also had a great chat with Lisa Bist (see picture above) and her husband. I am so proud of what Bist has been up to on the council. I hope she will consider running for Mayor in two years – or the State Assembly. Watch out Jose!

Councilman Carlos Bustamante also made a cameo appearance. Looks like he will have some competition for Correa’s seat on the Board of Supervisors. Alvarez told a friend of mine that she will be running, and apparently Pulido is now thinking about it as well. But the big rumor last night was that none other than former State Assemblyman Tom Umberg is going to jump into the race. If he does, expect his announcement to clear the deck of some of these second-tier candidates.

Garden Grove Councilwoman Janet Nguyen was there too and she had a great time catching up with folks she has worked in during her many years of public service, as an assistant to a Supervisor and an Assemblyman, and as a local elected official.

Others in attendance included Santa Ana council candidates George Collins and Nelida Yanez. I am glad to see them staying active in city events. Lynette Verino and her husband Sergio were there too. Quite frankly I lost count as there were so many city and area leaders in attendance.

Congratulations to the Doffo family and SSAMA for putting on a terrific event!

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.