2008 Santa Ana City Council races, by the numbers

There are still a few paper ballots to be counted here in Orange County, but I don’t expect much change in our City Council election results.  So let’s take a closer look at what happened.

You can see in the graphic above that there were 1,812 more votes cast in the Mayor’s race than in the council race with the most votes, which was the battle for Ward 3.  George Collins told me weeks ago that he was calling white Republican voters and many of them were saying that they would not vote for ANY Latino candidates.  That is obvious when you consider the above-referenced results.

However, that does NOT make these voters racist.  It just means that they are fed up with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and his all-Latino City Council.  And they took that anger out on ALL the Latino candidates, myself included.

One of my opponents in Ward 3, Steve Rocco, got over 6,000 votes.  Either that many voters were completely uninformed about how deranged he is, or they were fooled by his ballot designation, or they simply would not vote for a Latino candidate.  Hard to say what exactly happened, but hopefully this is Rocco’s last hurrah.

While we had about 4,000 more votes cast for Mayor this year versus 2006, that falls very short of our total number of registered voters.  About one third of our voters cast ballots.  That is damn low for a Presidential election.  What happened?

I suspect that the fact that Barack Obama was done wiping the floor with John McCain by 6:30 p.m. probably cost us a lot of votes.  Moreover, it is possible that many Latino voters were not all that enthused about either of the presidential candidates.  So they stayed home.

What does all of this mean for the next Santa Ana City Council elections?  I suspect that Team Pulido better get its act together.  Voter unrest with their lackluster results is only going to grow.  And white candidates need not lose hope.  Jim Walker did very well as an underfunded candidate against Vince Sarmiento.  Had one or two additional Latino candidates filed in that ward, Walker might have won.  Plus his supporters did not help him that much, and many of his past friends voted for Sarmiento, such as “Usual Suspect” Julie Stroud.  She did the same thing to her pal Evangeline Gawronski two years ago.  Gawronski lost by 600 votes to Michele Martinez.

While Stroud betrayed both Gawronski and Walker, I supported both of them.  I was a Republican when Gawronski ran and I helped her secure the endorsement of the OC GOP.  Now I am a progressive independent and I was happy to support Walker, who is a Democrat.

Folks often complain that I am too “La Raza,” but they do so blindly.  If you look at who I endorsed this year, you will see that my choices included members of both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  And I supported several white candidates, including Collins and Walker here in Santa Ana and Robin Marcario over in Garden Grove.  I also supported Cam Mangels over Jose Solorio in the 69th Assembly District.  Did I also support a lot of Latino candidates?  Sure.  But I felt they were the best options in their respective races and I still do.

In order to prevail against Team Pulido in the future, we will have to spend the next two years working hard and that means staying in campaign mode.  There are plans afoot to start a new small business association in Santa Ana.  I think that idea will really take off.  And we will remain vigilant against Team Pulido as they resuscitate their ill-fated Renaissance Plan.

One of the bigger problems we face is getting more of the Santa Ana electorate informed and involved.  The local Latino media, which is dominated by TV and Radio stations, ignores Team Pulido’s malfeasance.  And the local Latino press is not much better.  There is a Spanish language blog, La Naranja, which is quite good.  It gives us something to build on at the very least.

One thing is certain – Team Pulido will give us plenty to write about here at the Orange Juice…

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.