Primary Election 2018: Last Day of Filing in the Last Races Left




The sole big news on this last day of filing is the entry into the 49th District Congressional race of San Diego County Supervisor Kristine Gaspar, pictured at … um … we’ll get back to you on that … where she will face Doug Applegate, Rocky Chavez, Diane Harkey, and a mash-up of Ross and Chandler.

OC ROV Report for Races Being Extended

CONGRESS  We’ll focus only on the two races that still have open filing.

39th District [extended filing]

[3/14, 6 :15 p.m.: See update at end of this section]

As we noted yesterday, Jay Chen dropped out of the race, convinced that it is the only way that one of the other Democrats will have a chance of making the runoff.  That was one of two steps that would be necessary for a Democrat to have a chance to make it past June: the other was for former Senate Republican Minority Leader Bob Huff to enter the race and split the Republican vote.

On Monday, that’s what happened.  Huff (political patron to both Ling-Ling Chang, who is running to replace State Senator Josh Newman, if he is ousted in the recall vote, and Tim Shaw of La Habra, who is running for OC 4th District Supervisor, has long had a rivalry with Ed Royce, whose protege Young Kim is running for thie Congressional seat.  Outside of the Establishment is a libertarian wing often associated with Tony Bushala, with whom both Bruce Whitaker (running to replace Newman) and Congressional candidate Shawn Nelson have been associated to varying degrees over time.  So, in other words, it’s fair to expect a lot of vote splitting among Republicans, in the  CA-39 and 4th Supe races and the Newman recall.

The three main Republican candidates — Nelson, Kim, and Huff — are joined by Brea Councilman Steve Vargas and La Mirada Councilman Andrew Sarega, as well as minor candidates John Cullum and Phil Liberatore; Mark Gauoette and Michael McKay don’t seem likely to file.  Also fighting for Republican votes will be American Independent Sophia Alexander, “Trump Democrat” Ted Rusk, and NPP Karen Schatzle, who will probably take votes around evenly from both sides.  (I’ll leave Schatzle out of these estimates on that assumption.)  I won’t do all of the math here, but I estimate each of the big three candidates will take about 25% of the Republican vote, with Sarega and Vargas each taking 10% of it and the others splitting the final 5%.  If Schatzle takes. say 10% of the entire vote, that that means a little over 11% for each of the “Big 3.”

So a Democrat would need to take about 12% — a little more than a quarter of the likely Democratic share — to make the runoff.  Chen had the best chance to do so, but it would still be hard with five other “serious” candidates in the race — Thorburn, Cisneros, Janowicz, Tran, and Jammal — as well as stragglers like Leggett, Herbert Lee (if he files in the right county), Troutman, Steed, and maybe half of Rusk.  If we assign the stragglers a combined 4% of the Democratic vote, and assignTran and Jammal 8% each of it, then one could imagine one (or two!) of Thorburn, Cisneros, or Janowicz getting 30% of the remaining 80%, which would near 11-12% of the entire vote.  Whoever did so would be competing with Schatzle and the Republican Big Three to make it into the primary with that anemic segment of the population.

But: with Chen in the race, or with Huff out of it, it just doesn’t happen.  Chen reduces the available share of the Democratic down to below 10%; without Huff, the top Republicans shift to getting 30% of the Republican vote or more.  Maybe the Republican vote share will be big enough that it doesn’t matter.

I think that the favorites in this race are now Nelson, Kim, Cisneros, Thorburn,  and Schatzle.

CA-39 UPDATE: Phil Janowicz joined Jay Chen in departing the race for the greater good of their party.  This year, especially as Bob Huff belatedly jumps into the Republican side, is a “man bites dog” story.

Let’s generously say that Republicans have 50% of the electorate, and that {Vargas+Sarega+Cullum+Liberatore}= one additional candidate equivalent to Nelson, Kim, and Huff.   Let’s also speculate that Schatzle will take just four points from each party and Rusk will take one point from each.  Now, you have four Republicans (one of them composite) fighting over 40% of the vote.

Let’s say that Dems start with 45% of the vote.  You now have Cisneros, Jammal, and Thorburn as “serious” candidates, Tran maybe likely to get half their share, and their fringe candidates (Leggett, Lee, Rusk, Troutman, Steed, Liou, etc.) combined getting about as much as Tran.  Again, only 4% for Schatzle, and let’s say 1% for Steve Cox.  Again, you have three Dems and one composite fighting over 40% of the vote.  So that’s SIX candidates who start with an expected share of  10% — and I think Schatzle is right there with them.

Who makes the runoff will depend on the quality of their campaigns, as well as the “freak accidents'” of political war.  And lt will depend especially on who can crowd out the other candidates from their party — which now nust be done more subtly so as to avoid blowback.  Now either side can be shut out, especially if Schatzle does well,  but a Democratic shutout is no longer a next-to-foregone conclusion.

It took two acts of nobility and an opponent’s act of selfishness to bring Democratic candidates back into the game over these last couple of days.  And yet here they are!

Top tier (~10%): Cisneros, Huff, Jammal, Kim, Nelson, Schatzle, Thorburn
Second tier (5%): Sarega, Tran, Vargas
Third tier (<3%): Everyone else

49th District [extended filing]

Because Darrell Issa did not run for reelection here, filing for this race will be extended through Wednesday.  Here’s where things stand:

From OC, we have:

  • Republican Brian Maryott
  • Republican Mike Schmitt
  • Republican Diane Harkey
  • Democrat Mike Levin

From San Diego, there is:

  • Democrat Doug Applegate (3/7) (also OC candidate statement)
  • Democrat Sara Jacobs (3/9)
  • Democrat Paul Kerr (3/9)
  • Republican Rocky Chávez (3/9)
  • Republican Kristin Gaspar (3/13)
  • Republican Joshua Hancock (3/5)
  • Republican Craig Nordal (3/8)
  • Republican Joshua Schoonover (3/5)
  • Peace & Freedom (?) Jordan Mills (3/9)
  • K9 Party’s Robert Pendleton (3/8)
  • ??? Danielle St. John (3/9)

Four candidates have qualified for the ballot from OC, and eleven from San Diego.  The big news is that popular Supervisor Kristin Gaspar WILL be running after all.  She’ll easily be a co-favorite with Rocky Chávez and Diane Harkey from the Republican side, and if Kerr and Jacobs fade a runoff between Applegate and Levin is conceivable.


72nd District Assembly

With Travis Allen running for Governor, where one hopes that John Cox will smoke him, filing for this race ends today.

Four candidates are already on the ballot:

  • Democrat Josh Lowenthal
  • Republican Greg Haskin
  • Republican Tyler Diep
  • Republican Long Pham

Again, the OCGOP has endorsed creepy grifter Tyler Diep over decent guy Long Pham.  They should be made to pay for that decision.  This reminds me: OJB needs a full-time reporter, unpaid of course, assigned to the Tyler Diep race.  Apply to Vern.

County Board of Education Trustee Area 5

With  incumbent Linda Lindholm leaving office, filing for this race ends today.  On the ballot:

  • Lisa Sparks
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Mary Navarro
  • Mike Dalati

Dan Draitser DID NOT QUALIFY for the ballot.


With incumbent Sandra Hutchens departing in what she would probably deny is disgrace, filing for this position ends today.  Three candidates are in the mix; all are already on the ballot:

  • Don Barnes is, if I recall correctly, Hutchens’ chosen successor.
  • David Harrington is, with the same caveat, the Republican who ain’t her choice.
  • Duke Nguyen is the Great Democratic Hope in this race.

I expect this one to go to a November runoff.

The 4th District Board of Equalization seat is also accepting filing today, but our coverage is completed.

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.)