Orange County’s Brand New Assembly Districts!




We’ve got seven Assembly Districts now instead of nine – partly due to the slight loss of population in the OC relative to the state, but mostly due to the fact that we’re only sharing one of these districts, not three, with other counties.  A couple of the new districts look somewhat exciting (which to me, means “competitive.”)

They say we California Democrats are on track to change two or more Republican Assembly seats into our column, and reach the Holy Grail of two-thirds in Sacramento.  Let’s see if we can contribute at all to that sea-change here behind the Orange Curtain!

[Again, these fine map images, from here, were created by Max Rexrod and Chandra Sharma, 916-648-1222,]


Way up North: District 55 (Hagman’s tundra)

Just like with the far-north-county abomination known as the New 39th Congressional District, our northern burghs of La Habra, Brea, Yorba Linda and Placentia are connected with the hardy aborigines of  Walnut, Diamond Bar, and Chino Hills, in a sort of Coalition of the Homebound.  Republican assemblyman Curt Hagman, who has one term left and lives in Chino Hills, will presumably hang on in this red mooncalf of a district.  *yawn…*

Norby’s purple 65th (for long?)

Chris Norby is the least terrible of our OC Republicans;  marching to the beat of his own drummer, he doesn’t automatically follow every last stupid command of GOP central, as when alone among Sacramento Republicans he voted to end wasteful & corrupt Redevelopment Agencies, and alone among OC Republicans voted to save the Fairgrounds from Allan Mansoor’s bosses at FMW.  But still, he’s very conservative, and he’s a Republican, and we need a few more Democratic seats, and the registration numbers are so close here that it’s conceivable the nice fellow could be knocked off by the right Dem.  But who would that be?  Maybe La Palma’s way cool Mayor Ralph Rodriguez?  Or progressive, charismatic Fullerton councilwoman Sharon Quirk-Silva?  (Although she’s Norby’s friend – can friends run against each other?)  Who else pops into your mind?

Spanky’s bright-red 68th District

This carbuncle-red district will be stuck with Don “Spanky” Wagner for two more terms – yep, up to 2016.  Unless you lot resent his leadership of the “Taxpayers Caucus” to prevent you taxpayers from being able to vote on how much taxes you want to pay, or his angry rants in defense of the wasteful and corrupt Redevelopment Agencies, or his enthusiastic embrace of Sacramento Mexican-bashers Tim Donnelly and Allan Mansoor … unless you resent those things enough to find a better Republican candidate.

Or maybe the brilliant and beautiful Melissa Fox?

Once the Latino-Dem 69th, always the Latino-Dem 69th!

José Solorio is termed out of this district, and, despite how helpful he was in saving the Fairgrounds, I do hope that the next Democrat this district elects will be MUCH MORE PROGRESSIVE than old José.  Or to be specific – I hope they are much less of a SERVANT to the PRISON GUARDS UNION and BIG HEALTH INSURANCE than José has been – two of the most pernicious and destructive special interests we have in this state.

Well, we know that Anaheim labor hero Julio Pérez is running, and I’ll be interviewing him soon (although Art & Sean poo-pooh him as “toast” since he’s only got Anaheim not SA.)  And I’m told, by a pajarote you can guess, that someone on the Santa Ana Council is going to run, now that Señora Sarmiento has put her foot down and said no to Vince’s ambitions.  And by a process of elimination I’m pretty sure that would be Sal Tinajero.  I like Sal.  I like Julio too.  I hope not too much money gets wasted, or bad blood spilt, in this Battle of Los Gordos.

UPDATE – Wrong!  It’s Michele Martinez going against Julio!

The Viets’ 72nd – Phu could do this!

All the Vietnamese areas are now wedded to Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Huntington north of Ellis, in this newfangled 72nd district.  Three-term Republican incumbent Jim Silva is termed out, and I don’t know what Republican may be thinking of running.  But I do think the charismatic Democratic businessman Phu Nguyen has a good shot here, better than he did last year.  Sure, the Republicans outnumber the Dems in this district 43% to 32%.  But a LOT of those Republicans are Vietnamese, and THOSE Vietnamese Republicans chose Phu over Mansoor last year.  (80% of Viets went for Phu – not just due to racial loyalty, but because they know firsthand what a standup, generous, and competent guy he is!)  This district really could turn blue next year.

Harkey’s crimson 73rd

I’m puzzled as to why our mapmakers categorized this district as an “open Republican” district.  It’s Diane Harkey‘s district, and she has one more term left.  Have I missed something?  Is she dropping out?  Is her popularity tanking?  Has she not been batshit crazy enough this past year, comparing High Speed Rail to genocide, consorting with immigrant bashers, and barking out nonsense at patient Governor Brown?  She could ramp it up if she has to, you know.

Ha ha, the coastal 74th.  So long, Mansoor?

Now that the very incompetent and unlikable one-note immigrant basher Allan Mansoor has shown what he’s incapable of,  now that he’s distinguished himself as the paid errand boy of Facilities Management West in their now-unsuccessful attempt to snag our Fairgrounds, and now that his old Costa Mesa district has been utterly transformed to include Newport,  the Lagunas, part of Irvine and southeastern Huntington Beach, more competent and likable Republicans are going to come out of the woodworks to challenge the old unemployed jailer.  Already Keith Carlson, a longtime HB activist, has announced his bid.  But I’ve been told, “Mansoor and Carlson – they’re both extreme rightwingers.  If a respectable old-school Republican went against them, those two would split the crazy vote and the other guy would win.”

PAGING RUSH HILL.  Beloved Newport Councilman Rush Hill, architect and former education adviser to President Reagan, a true old-school conservative, who helped me with material for my epic takedown of our mutual foe Dave Ellis, Rush Hill, the anti-Mansoor who actually sat on the advisory board of the community-oriented group – American Fairs and Festivals – that was formed to save the Fairgrounds FROM Facilities Management West – Rush Hill is just the man for the job.  PAGING RUSH HILL.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.