Who Will Be the Next Orange County Democratic Chair?

It is a week to go before the installment of new officers and to vote for a new Chair for the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Here are some of the contenders:

Current Chair Frank Barabaro has expressed interest in running again and is the frontrunner.  He is strongest support comes from south county and Treasurer Gila Jones.   Frank Barbaro is also close with Miguel Pulido and that wing of the party.  There was a rumor of a coup a few months ago to install Joe Dunn as Chair with the help of Executive Director Melahat Rafiei, but Lou Correa and Jose Solorio put a stop to that.  I understand that Frank and Melahat don’t get along so well but I wonder if Frank knows she had the knife out for him?

Frank in the words of a man from Chicago, “Is likeable enough” but is part of the old network of cronies and often talks about, “My Senate campaign in 1978,” and him and Executive Director Melahat Rafiei are constantly take credit for registering new Democrats in the county which they really did not have much to do with.  Also, local candidates felt they got the shaft by the party as for the first time in 20 years there was no Truman Dinner. Much of their time was spent on raising money for the DCCC at a Pelosi event and for the presidential campaign.  Whereas Democrats were on the march around the country, Democrats has a net loss of city council seats, in part to the DPOC’s poverty and lack of electoral saavy.

So who would run against Frank Barbaro?

Pat Kelly would like current Secretary and perennial candidate Florice Hoffman to move up to Chair someday but Florice doesn’t have the temerity to take on Frank so she will probably run for party vice chair.

There is a rumor that Steve Young would take on Frank.  He is popular with the left wing of the Central Committee and has made inroads with labor.   I haven’t heard if he is running or not but he would be a dark horse contender.

There is a missing persons bulletin out for Vice Chair Rima Nashashibi.  She hasn’t been seen much of the year, so she is not very popular with the committee.  While Frank and Melahat are pointing the stick at her for the lack of fund raising, they ought to point the stick at themselves first.

Lou Correa is loading up with staff and allies as new members on the Central Committee and as candidates for the state convention.  Will he try to groom someone to run for Chair down the road?

Who do you think should be the new chair?

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