OJ Blog Early 2016 Primary Recs, pt 3: State Senate & Assembly





State Senate 29 Newman; 37 either one.
AD 55 Fritchle. AD 65 Quirk Silva. AD 68 Chuchua. AD 69 Velarde Garcia.
AD 72 & 73 Nobody. AD 74 Daigle or Onofre.

Brian Chuchua for Assembly, Josh Newman for State Senate, Ofelia Velarde-Garcia for Assembly

Brian Chuchua for Assembly, Josh Newman for State Senate, Ofelia Velarde-Garcia for Assembly


Just two races this time around.  One of them is interesting and in doubt; the other has two candidates who represent their parties well, but will likely be a walkover.

29th District

An interesting three person race!  You can capture this one pretty well if you think terms of the remaining Presidential candidates.  Ling-Ling Chang — the incumbent Assemblywoman in about half of the district, is your basic Donald Trump Republican type, except (to damn her with faint praise) less likely to make stupid statements in public (or big money in real estate.  Plus, she’s the kind of person who was probably targeted by Trump University.)  Sukhee Kang is the Hillary Clinton equivalent: well-connected and very good at working the inside game of wooing party insiders, business-oriented and sometimes startlingly self-serving.  Josh Newman is the Bernie Sanders equivalent: a political outsider who wears his honesty, intelligence, principles and wit on his sleeve.  OJB Recommendations: Democrats and Independents should vote for Josh Newman; Republicans should also vote for Josh Newman because they think that they’ll beat him easily — go ahead, think that.

37th District

This is the seat that Mimi Walters occupied before being promoted to Congress.  Incumbent John Moorlach beat out Don Wagner in a race that was a victory for clean politics over tainted.  Moorlach is running against Ari Grayson, the smart and well-spoken President of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club.  Moorlach is almost a sure bet in this heavily Republican District, but when Grayson can find his constituency — City Council, perhaps? — he has a good future in store.  OJB Recommendation: We like Grayson, but we’re at peace with the prospect that Moorlach will win.  We hope that it’s a clean and substantive fight in which Grayson acquits himself well.  (Debate him, John!)


OC has seven Assembly seats (6-1/2, actually), of which six are held by Republicans and one is held by a half-a-Democrat.

55th District

This is the only seat that is not fully within Orange County; the other half is roughly the same as the northern part of SD-29, in the Eastern San Gabriel Valley and Chino Hills.  The same Democrat who has been running since the District’s creation in 2012, Walnut’s Gregg Fritchle, is running again.  Some of the Republican candidates are familiar: Walnut Valley area resident Philip Chen, who finished a close third in the race where Chang beat Fritchle, is considered to be the front-runner, is back; so is Steven Tye of Diamond Bar, who finished fourth in that race.  The others are Mike Spence, from West Covina in the district’s northwest, and Ray Marquez, from Chino Hills.  OJB Recommendations: for Democrats, Fritchle!  For Republicans: Marquez!  (We know the least about him, as well as the least bad about him. and we like that he’s raised the least money.)

65th District

This is a re-run of the 2014 cage match between incumbent Young Kim “of Fullerton” and her predecessor in office Sharon Quirk-Silva of Fullerton.  The big question here is whether the advantage the Quirk-Silva gets from a Presidential election year (like 2012) exceeds the advantage that Kim gets from being better liked within her party than Chris Norby was in 2012.  The primary is pretty meaningless; they both go forward and are not likely to spend too much of their money in June.  November will be very different.  OJB Recommendation: Quirk-Silva!

68th District

(Note that Greg has a conflict in this race, because he’s helping Brian Chuchua’s campaign, so chalk up this official recommendation to Vern.)  Half of the the five Republicans in this race  are considered front-runners.  Two of them are Irvine Mayor Steven Choi and former Anaheim City Councilman Harry Sidhu; the “half” is Debra Pauly, who has had trouble raising funds and retaining supporters.  The two-and-a-half Republicans who seem to be out of it are Pauly, Alexia Deligianni-Brydges, and Kostas Roditis.  (They’re welcome to come here and argue their case.)  All those Republicans leave some space open on the other side of the spectrum.  The one Democrat running, Sean Jay Panahi, is a political unknown, unendorsed by the party, and — if he makes the runoff — will have the traditional Democratic no chance to win this seat.

The seventh candidate, Brian Chuchua, is a long-time Republican and Tom Anaheim Mayor Tait reporter who supports Dr. Jose Moreno (with whom he shares active and critical stances against Anaheim corruption), Sharon Quirk-Silva (with whom he worked, as an officer of Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Committee, towards establishing the Veterans Cemetery on the Former El Toro Marine Corps Air Base), and Amin David (with whom he has long participated in Los Amigos.)  So if enough Democrats and Independents and Republican allies of Tait and the Veterans vote for him, he has a plausible path to make the top two.  At that point, the loser between Choi and Sidhu may take note that he’s probably inclined to serve for maybe four to six years — rather than twelve, as either of them would likely attempt.  And Good-Government types can unite behind him.  Conclusion: with decent fundraising he could actually win in November.  In that case, everybody wins — except those who love corruption, who we think are still in the minority.  OJB Recommendation: Democrats should support Chuchua, Good Government Republicans should support Chuchua, and third-party voters should support Chuchua, while Independents/NPPs should totally support Chuchua.  And so says Vern, Cynthia and Ryan!

69th District

Incumbent Assemblyman Tom Daly — recently found to be the worst Democrat in the Assembly by a group that rates politicians, despite representing the most Latino legislative district in the state — is running for his third term.  The challenger to this Correa-style political hermaphrodite is Republican Ofelia Velarde-Garcia.  (No Democrat even challenged Daly in the primary.  Big victory there for the DPOC!  Woo-hoo….)  Greg has to step out of room for a moment while Vern announces the OJB Recommendation: Velarde-GarciaYeah, says Vern, if only as a protest vote against Daly – she does seem really nice but unprepared.

72nd District

Republican Incumbent Assemblyman Travis Allen is running for re-election against two Democrats: Lenore Albert-Sheridan, who had been listing herself as an attorney but is now listed as a “Business Owner” after facing disciplinary charges by the State Bar, and Nam Pham.  Nam is culturally conservative when it comes to LGBT rights — which we don’t like at all.  But the question is: would it be better to have a Vietnamese Democrat on the ballot who can attract like others to come out in vote in November — or would it be better to have someone who will bring out people who have raised ethical complaints against her.  OJB’s Recommendation comes from the 2014 candidate in this race, Joel Block, who says: NOT Albert-Sheridan!

73rd District

Nobody filed to run against Republican incumbent Bill Brough.  To anti-Brough types — except for Wendy Gabriella, who did more than her share of leavy lifting in 2014, we say — that’s pathetic.  Someone file to run against him as a write-in candidate immediately!  Greens, Peace & Freedomites, Libertarians. Monster Raving Loonies — if the major parties won’t do it, this is your shot!  OJB Recommendation: whoever asks for your write-in vote!

74th District

Long-shot incumbent Assemblyman Matt Harper, who literally appears to have been voted in by Huntington Beach citizens desperate to get him off of their City Council, has two challengers — and we don’t know which one is more likely to beat him.  One is Democrat Karina Onofre, who since being hired by Loretta Sanchez has actually developed a good rap about why she’s a Democrat, and the other is Republican Katherine Daigle, who has blogged here under the name “Irvine Valkyrie.”  We like either of them more than Harper — and we hope that the loser will endorse whoever finishes second in the primary.  OJB Recommendation: for Republicans, Daigle!  For Democrats, Onofre!  For independents, read their ballot statements and decide for yourselves!

About Admin

"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.