2018 Vote #7: City Council Races – READ BEFORE YOU VOTE!




Left to right: Mission Viejo’s Mahmoud El-Farra, Huntington Beach’s Shayna Lathus, and Brea’s Blake Perez

Let’s try this alphabetically by city, shall we?

Aliso Viejo

Democrats have endorsed two candidates, newcomer Tiffany Ackley and School Board Trustee Gary Pritchard.  I agree with both endorsements, but I want to add this: Tiffany Ackley was the most visible proponent for Dan Chmielewski prior to the meeting considering his expulsion from DPOC.  (She distributed her letter for him before the closed session began, which is the only reason that I can say so.)  I’m supporting her anyway, because she is one of the two best candidates.  Chumley (as I call him, Tiffany) would probably oppose you simply on the basis of your having defended me in a similar similar circumstance.  You have my endorsement, but it is tempered by my saying the above publicly.


Look over there.


Brea is divided into three categories: Yes, No, and NO WAY!

Yes: Blake Perez and Sean Thomas

No (though I’d be OK if one wins): Glenn Parker and Bill Hall.

NO WAY!:  Cecilia Hupp (our Jen Fitzgerald), Steve Shatynski, Steve Vargas

Buena Park

District 1: Sunny Park (despite being caught stealing signs without FPPC ID, under the misconception that she could take them to the police as evidence.  Easy mistake, especially in a dirty city when one is running against the cops’ candidate).

District 2: Ian MacDonald (I’m trusting the DPOC’s vetting here, which when dispassionate is usually pretty good)

District 5: No endorsement.

Costa Mesa

Mayor:  Katrina Foley (I like Sandy Genis and have hoped that it was not true that she has traveled down the path of darkness led by the hand of  the awful Jim Righeimer, but Geoff West says it’s true and I’m inclined to trust him.)  The following are also Geoff’s picks, but I looked them over and they look legit.

District 3:  Andrea Marr

District 4: Manual Chavez

District 5: Arliss Reynolds


3 Seats: Nettie Bryan & Frances Marquez only (trusting DPOC vetting)

Dana Point

District 1: Amy Foell

District 2: Mark McGinn

Fountain Valley



District 3:  Jesus Silva (despite that I like Greg Sebourn for a Republican and Nickolas Wildstar has the best beats)

District 5:  Vern likes Ahmed Zahra.  Ryan speaks kindly of Ahmed Zahra.  DPOC endorsed Ahmed Zahra.  The Arab American Democrats endorse Ahmed Zahra.  I’m sorry — I don’t want Paulette Marshall to win this race, but I just can’t endorse Ahmed Zahra.  If he wins, fine — but not with my endorsement.

Garden Grove

Mayor and District 1:  No endorsements; ran out of time.

District 3:  Thu-Ha Nguyen (trusting DPOC on this one)

District 4:  Mark Paredes (enthusiastically and based on personal knowledge)

Huntington Beach

Council: Gina Clayton-Tarvin suggests bullet-voting for only Shayna Lathus.  I think that it’s wise to use up the other two votes, or they’ll get deployed randomly — but I’ll compromise with Gina.  I’ll join DPOC in endorsing Darren Ellis and stop there.

City Attorney: I DON’T CARE if he’s the only name on the ballot; vote against Michael Gates.  I heard through the grapevine (I don’t actually recall which grape) that there’s an HB attorney named Jerry Friedman who will accept and care for your write-in votes.  So write him in!  (If I’m wrong about this, Mr. Friedman, I apologize — and I hope that Gates doesn’t arrest you on spurious charges.)


Mayor: Without a decent Democrat on the list, if I lived in Irvine I’d be voting for Katherine Daigle.  Actually, that’s not entirely true: if I lived in Irvine I’d be running for freaking Mayor myself so that there would be a decent Democrat on the list!

City Council (2 seats): The “Unity Slate” of Farrah Khan and Lauren Johnson-Norris.  (Please elect both of them or there will be hell to pay!)

Laguna Beach

Council (3 seats):  I actually really like the DPOC choices of Ann Christoph, Toni Iseman, and Judie Mancuso.

Laguna Hills


Laguna Niguel

Council (2 seats): DPOC says Deborah Townes.  Checked her out; seems legit.

Laguna Woods


La Habra

I’ll go with Michael Blazey and Jose Medrano, the latter just to mix things up a bit.

La Palma


Lake Forest

This is the city that was selling “Poll Site Corporate Sponsorships.”


OK, seriously — I’ll support anyone who would stop the city from selling “Poll Site Corporate Sponsorships.”  I know that it’s too late to find out now, but … yeeesh!

Los Alamitos

Council:  Under no circumstances should anyone vote for racist juice dispenser Dean Grose — and shame on the OCGOP for endorsing him.  There are three incumbents for the four seats — and they will probably beat Grose without your help.  So I suggest bullet voting for solely Tanya Doby and GiGi”Finch

Mission Viejo

Council (3 seats): The DPOC wants me to endorse only Mahmoud El-Farra for these seats and I have to admit that he looks quite impressive.  But I notice that decent guy Greg Raths was not endorsed by the OC GOP, which supported only two candidates.  Well, I think that El-Farra could use some decent company if he gets onto the City Council, so even if voting for Raths as well may make his victory slightly less likely, it also increases the likelihood of knocking off one of the endorsees — so that’s what I’d do if I lived there.  (If Raths is no longer a Republican, all the more reason I’d want to support him.)  I’ve made it up to El-Farra by making him one of our cover models.

Newport Beach

Maximizing distance from a Peotter gets you this endorsement!  Running against one gets you a special mention!

District 1: Mike Glenn
District 3: Tim Stoaks
District 4: Roy Engelbrecht
District 6: Joy Brenner <== most important one!


Mayor: Doug Vogel

Council: Betty Valencia, Adrienne Gladson
(If you’re a conservative and can’t stand the above, Zach Collins seems nice.  But you should still vote for at least Valencia.)


District 2 and City Clerk:  No endorsement, but also no content
District 4:   Richard Nichols, Jr.

Rancho Santa Margarita

Council (3 Seats): Wendy Braun, Chris McLaughlin  (basically being anti-incumbent here)

San Clemente

Council (3 seats): Jake Rybczyk, Jackson Hinkle.  If you must vote for a third, let’s make it (looks at ballot designations) Tiffany Joy Robson Leet.

San Juan Capistrano

Pass.  Hopefully Michael Laux will offer an opinion.  UPDATE: That was quick!

District 2 Kim McCarthy

District 3 Pam Patterson

District 4 Jeff Vasquez

Santa Ana

Mayor: Sal Tinajero

Ward 2: Sandra Pena Sarmiento
Ward 4: Roman Reyna
Ward 6: Nelida Mendoza

Seal Beach

(only District 1 has a battle):  Joe Kalmick


Mayor: Brian Donohue (I don’t know much about him except that he’s a Council member and he’s running against David John Shawver, who I recall being a mess.

District 3: Vote for one of the women.



Villa Park

Council (3 seats): Diana Fascinelli


Mayor: Christopher Ochoa
Council (2 seats): Jamison Power and Anita Rice

Yorba Linda

Council (2 seats): Lourdes Crus ONLY!







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.)