Unofficial, Mission Viejo Mayor MacLean recalled by 118 votes

Awaiting the Recall Results…

Update: We have just found out that there are 1140 additional ballots to be counted. While Provisional ballots are counted later I am surprised that they did not mention the 864 turned in at the polls that were not included in the unofficial final count. Therefore, to survive the recall Lance must get over 55 percent of the remaining ballots. We are to have that data by 5 p.m.

Around 25 local citizens who worked to remove a sitting mayor felt as if we were on a roller coaster tonight. Register reporter Erika Ritchie and a photographer arrived at the election night party held at the home of Joe Zambito around 8 p.m. As we impatiently awaited the ROV results Erika interviewed several of the volunteers as we sat glued to two desktop computers awaited the results from the ROV.

The first cycle consisted of the 10,316 absentee/Vote by Mail ballots where the YES on recall had 53.1% or 5,398 votes and the NO vote was 46.9% of 4,738.

As to the second question candidate Dave Leckness led candidate Dale Tyler by 272 in that first cycle and pulled further away as the night progressed.

The defeat of a sitting mayor was a major blow for Wayne Quint, president, Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs who poured around $100,000 in the campaign to save Lance’s job. Analyzing how a group of diverse individuals were able to defeat this powerful union and a sitting mayor will be discussed for years to come.

For example we only need to look at the city of Oceanside where in December a government employee union spent $200,000 to remove a city councilman yet lost with 63% voting against the recall. Source:

After the final results were reported Council member Cathy Schlicht, who attended the victory party, said “It was amazing that a group of grass rooters came together to defeat a well funded special interests tonight.” She went on to say

hat “hopefully the atmosphere in city hall will be more civil and less condescending.”
Later in the evening, as we realized what had just happened, Cathy said “this is a moral victory.”

In my telephone call with councilman John Paul Ledesma, immediately after the final numbers were posted, he questioned the union involvement stating “what’s Wayne Quint’s payoff in all this? It doesn’t make any sense.”As today’s voting began to be posted, beginning with the first 12 of 38 precincts, the NO on recall count was cutting into the huge lead from the absentees and had dropped to negative 413. The next cycle included 25 of 38 precincts with the YES lead dropping to 320 votes. As small groups gathered around the house to project the final results we were all over the map in guessing the final outcome.

Dale Tyler who was among those in attendance said this was “a 75% victory for the citizens” of Mission Viejo.

Somewhere around 10:30 the ROV reported a total of 13,662 votes being cast with Lance being defeated by 118 votes. The final score, for those who follow these details, was 6,858 voting YES and 6,740 voting NO on the question should he be recalled.

Although it is not easy to accomplish, if David can defeat Goliath in Mission Viejo, it can happen in any city.

About Larry Gilbert