Some (Not All) City Council Races for You to Watch



Baby girl picture

Yes, we know you’re excited.

Didn’t finish all of the City Council races — but we do have over half the county by population!  Today’s the last day of candidate filing, except when it isn’t, and we’re not sure where it isn’t, and we have too much going on today to check.  If it really matters to you whether filing closes today, you should not be relying on last-minute reporting by a volunteer-run website anyway.

Here we go.

Aliso Viejo:

The seats of Mike Munzing, Dave Harrington, and Bill Phillips are up. If they all filed, then filing is complete, because City Hall is taking today off. Did they file? Did anyone else file? The City’s website offers no guidance.


We’ve been following the report filings, but they are not the final word. The website doesn’t show who has and hasn’t actually filed. So the best we can offer is this:

In 1: Freddy Fitzgerald Carbajal has qualified for the ballot as of Thursday morning. The applications of Leonard Lahtinen, Orlando Perez, and Angel Van Stark are pending. No word about Denise Barnes, Mark Daniels, or Steven Albert (Chavez) Lodge.

In 3: Dr. Jose Moreno’s application is pending. No word on Jordan Brandman, Robert Nelson, Linda Lobatos, or Jennifer Rivera.

In 4: Robert Williams’s application is pending. No word on Lucile Kring, Art Ferreras, Christopher Dunshee, Jonathan Meeker, or JoJo “the Faker” Moreno..

In 5: Mark Lopez’s application is pending. No word on Steven Faessel, Donna Acevedo-Nelson, Ana R. Martinez, “Red” Lester. or Thomas Anderson.


Marty Simonoff and Christine Marick both appear to be running for re-election. If anyone else is challenging them, it’s not evident on the website.

Buena Park:

The City’s website has information on the new districts — the two southernmost, 3 and 4, are on the ballot this year — but no information on who’s running.

Costa Mesa:

Righeimer opponents Sandy Genis, Jay Humphrey, and John Stephens look like they’re allied to take on Righeimer supporters Steve Mensinger, Allan Mansoor, and Lee Ramos. I believe that Julie Mercurio decided not to run and that leaves Al Melone on his own.


Nothing about the election at all. I think that they win!


Finally, a city that does it right! I presume that filing will go on until Wednesday, as eligible incumbent Jan Flory isn’t running. Her colleagues Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald are running. So are some familiar names: Larry Bennett, Jane Rands, Roberta Reid, Jesus Silva. And some less familiar ones: Herbert Glazier, Jonathan Mansoori, Joshua Ferguson, Susan Gapinski, and (making Donald Trump look moderate and measured by comparison) Joe Imbriano.

Garden Grove:

Nice Web page; nothing about who’s running.

Huntington Beach:

While Jill Hardy and David Sullivan are running for re-election, Jim Katapodis withdrew a week ago, so I believe that filing continues through Wednesday. (Don’t trust my word on this, though!) Challengers include Alexander Polsky, Avery Hanson, Karen Leighton, Lyn Semeta, Patrick Brenden, Joe Carchio, Aleksandr Donovan, Hemesh Patel, and Ron Sterud.


Beth Krom just announced that she won’t be running for re-election, so once again I presume that that means an extension for Council seats. And Steven Choi isn’t running for re-election as Mayor, so ditto. From there. the unofficial record of where things stand gets sort of wild.

For Mayor, Mary Ann Gaido and Katherine Daigle will run again, but this time joined by former Assemblyman Don Wagner and Great Park opponent Gang Chen.

For City Council. a dozen candidates for the two seats, only one of whom (Christine Shea) is an incumbent. Of the other eleven, the “heard of before” category includes Anila Ali, Evan Chemers, Shira Farhavar, Melissa Fox, Farrah Khan, and Anthony Kuo. In the other category, Hyunjoung Ahn, Dale Cheema. Ian Daelucian, Matthew Ehorn, and Courtney Santos. That’s a lot of people running for two seats.

Santa Ana:

Mayor: Miguel Pulido versus Battlin’ Ben Vasquez.

Ward 1: Vince Sarmiento vs. Jessica Cha

Ward 3: Angelica Amezcua not looking for candidate-y with under $500 raised. Jose Solorio is running against Shawn Barrows, David DeLeon (who has no filings), and Planning Commissioner Patrick Yrrarrazaval-Correa.

Ward 5: No information listed about Sal Tinajero’s seat.

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)