What impact would an Open Primary have in the 69th A.D.?

The threat of the Open Primary is making O.C. Democrats sick…

I have noticed a lot of activity lately from Democrats on Facebook who are up in arms over Abel Maldonado’s Open Primary measure.  I thought the Republicans would be more upset – but the blue party hacks are blue in the face over this.

Why is the Open Primary such a threat?  The way this would work is that if neither candidate got over 50% of the vote, the top two vote-getters would face off in a run-off.

Let’s consider how this would work in Orange County, in the 69th Assembly District.  The incumbent is Jose Solorio.  He is going to term out in a couple of years.  I expect a major bloodbath for his seat.  But the Republicans have no shot at this seat, nor do any of the third parties.

So how might this play out?  I expect that several of the Santa Ana City Council Members would file for the 69th.  And you might also see SAUSD Trustee Jose Hernandez run as well. 

Here are the folks who could end up running, from the Democratic Party, for the 69th Assembly District:

  • SAUSD Trustee Jose Hernandez
  • Santa Ana Council Woman Claudia Alvarez
  • Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento
  • Santa Ana Councilman Sal Tinajero
  • RSCCD Trustee Mark McLoughlin

Soloro’s district also includes a sliver of Anaheim, but I don’t know which Democrats live there.  Let’s say that some of the Anaheim Democrats decide to move into the 69th.  Here are a few that might run, although I don’t think any of them would:

The 69th also includes 25% of Garden Grove, but I can’t see anyone running from that city.

Ordinarily none of the above candidates who are not Latino would have a shot at the 69th Assembly District.  But if GOP voters opt to vote for non-Latino candidates, instead of some loser OC Young Republican candidate, then it could make for an interesting run-off election.

According to a demographics report, over 74% of the 69th is comprised of Latino voters.  And over 51% are Democrats.

Alvarez would have a distinct advantage, assuming Galloway stays out, as the only woman in the primary.  But she would be hurt if several other Santa Ana Council Members run.  Tinajero would be helped by his profession, as he is a teacher.  Most of the above referenced potential candidates are lawyers.

Brandman is unknown in Santa Ana.  But McLoughlin could be a wild card.  He lives in Floral Park and is tight with Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido.  He is also popular with the Usual Suspects.  And he is known for supporting the recall of former SAUSD Trustee Nativo Lopez, which would help him with GOP voters.  I could see him making a run-off, but ultimately I can’t see this seat going to anyone non-Latino, despite the Open Primary.

So why are the Democrats so concerned about the Open Primary?  Beats me.  I think that perhaps it might hurt union shill candidates.  I cannot see it having a major impact on Democratic candidates.  But it would give Republican voters a say in districts where they are an extreme minority, such as the 69th.

All of this is of course conjecture.  Even if the Open Primary passes, it won’t apply until 2012.  So are you ready to call Alvarez your Assembly Member?  Never mind the threat of an Open Primary.  What could be scarier than sending Alvarez to Sacramento?  What a revolting development…


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"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.