How much did the OCEA blow on the failed John Leos Anaheim Council campaign?

The Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) and other unions poured thousands of dollars into the Anaheim City Council campaign of Republican John Leos.  What do they have to show for that?  Not much.  He lost by over five thousand votes.  He did come in third, so I guess he gets a consolation prize, but as in sports you either win in politics or you lose.  There is no second place.

The candidates who were endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County could not compete with the winners, Gail Eastman and Kris Murray, who were backed by exiting Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, or with the union-backed Leos.  Bill Dalati did better than his blue counterpart, John Santoianni.  Dalati came in seventh, out of 13 candidates.  Santoianni came in second to last.

Dustin Apodaca, a candidate endorsed by our blogger, Gabriel San Roman, actually beat out Santoianni, coming in 11th place.

I endorsed Santoianni and Dalati, and also Thomas “Hoagy” Holguin.  Of the three, Holguin did the best, coming in at sixth place.  But they all lost.  I am not sure what Holguin will do now.  The OC GOP is unfriendly to Latino candidates.  He might be best served by quitting them and filling either as a Democrat or as a Decline to State voter.

The Leos disaster has to be a major bummer for Nick Berardino, the head of the OCEA.  I heard he blew over $200K on the Leos campaign.  Berardino also bet big on Harry Sidhu, in the primary election, and he got tarred and feathered by Shawn Nelson, who won again in the general election, in resounding fashion.

When was the last time the OCEA bet on the right candidate?  It has been awhile.  They clearly need to rethink their political strategy.  These losses not only bleed their coffers, they also serve to undermine their influence.  It’s just embarrassing.

As for the Democrats, they need to take a long hard look at their relationship with the OCEA.  Berardino clearly undermined their endorsed candidates.  The net result was two more Republicans winning in Anaheim.

It was a crowded field, and I think Dalati and Holguin ran good campaigns.  Santoianni gave it his best, but he shied from controversy and didn’t clearly establish what he was about.  He paid a price for sitting on the fence.  He will continue to serve as an Anaheim City Commissioner, and I noticed he friended new Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait on Facebook.  When in Rome…

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