OC GOP Central Committee Race Results – the OJ Effect!





Thank you again to my secret OC GOP sources who helped me compile preferences for who should and should not be on their Central Committee for the next four years.  You did pretty well.

Again: bold face = endorsed; plain-face = neutral, indented italic = “I’m Tired of These %*#^! Snakes on My Plane!”

Republican Central Committee winners, underwhelmers, & big losers for 2020!  Top row: Tim Shaw, Greg Raths, Tim Whitacre, Laurie Davies, Diane Dixon, Kelly Ernby; Middle row: Mike Munzing, Brett Barbre, Deb Pauley, Will O’Neill, Diane Harkey, Patrick Harper; Bottom row: Denis Bilodeau, Gracey VanderMark, Trevor O’Neil, Mike Posey, Scott Peotter.

AD-55 Choices:

  • Gene Hernandez* (City Council?)
  • Craig Young (Attorney)
  • Tim Shaw (Councilmember)
    • Brett Barbre* (Water Board, Consultant)
  • Michael Navarro (Life Skills Coach)
  • Melissa Salinas (Lowell Jt. School District Bd.)
  • Rhonda Shader (Mayor, Businesswoman)
  • Elvira Moreno
  • Anthony Johnson (Legislative Field Rep.)

AD-55 Results:

TIM SHAW, 16,256. 17.10%
CRAIG YOUNG, 15,968, 16.80%
GENE HERNANDEZ, 15,654, 16.47%
RHONDA SHADER, 14,000, 14.73%
BRETT R. BARBRE, 13,731, 14.45%
ANTHONY JOHNSON, 8,396, 8.83%
MELISSA A. SALINAS, 6,410, 6.74%
MICHAEL NAVARRO, 2,819, 2.97%
ELVIRA MORENO, 1,807, 1.90%

This is a mostly pleasing set of results.  Tim Shaw was unstoppable, so don’t worry about it. Craig Young, Gene Hernandez, and maybe Rhonda Shader probably were as well.  Those three were only endorsed to keep self-serving public compensation and contracts sinkhole Brett Barbre out of office, which admittedly required that voters take my recommendations for Anthony Johnson and Michelle Salinas — which was always a longshot.  But if you can’t keep someone out of office, you can at least shame them — and look at how far back Barbre finished within the pack of five established leaders!  He’s in trouble, and with someone better than me aiming for him in 2022!

On the other hand: nine people applied for six spots — and all three Latinos — one of them an office holder — finished out of the money?  Not a good look for you, RPOC!  You may claim that it’s because Salinas was on a School Board asking for a bond, but the huge yes vote in OC — the only bond measure in OC that passed — just shows that she knew her district.

AD-65 Choices:

  • David John Shawver*
    • Baron Night*
    • Steve Sarkis*
  • Leroy Mills (Retired USAF Officer)
  • Cynthia Thacker*
  • James Waters (Retired Postal Worker)
  • Amy Fremen (Rehabilitation Healthcare Pro)
  • Bobby Florentz (Handyman)
  • Dewayne Allen Normand (Small Business Owner)
  • Nicholas Dunlap (OC Businessman/Parent)

Here again, the main purpose was less to get people in to the RPOC Central Committee, but to keep people out.  The main ones we targeted were Baron Night and Steve Sarkis.  (Leroy Mills, who fronted a lawsuit against Josh Newman, and Cynthia Thacker, who is running against Sharon Quirk-Silva, were lesser priorities.

AD-65 Results:

And look at what happened!

CYNTHIA THACKER, 15,398, 13.59%
LEROY MILLS, 14,534 12.83%
AMY FREMEN, 11,813 10.42%
BARON NIGHT, 11,781, 10.40%
JAMES S. WATERS, 11,343, 10.01%
NICK DUNLAP, 11,277 9.95%
DAVID JOHN SHAWVER, 11,138, 9.83%
STEVE SARKIS 10,888, 9.61%
BOBBY FLORENTZ, 4,858, 4.39%

Yes, Thacker got in, as you’d respect for someone running for Assembly from this district.  So did Leroy Mills — whatever.  But look at the two we rejected!  Baron Night finished fourth, less then 650 votes away from being booted!  And Steve Sarkis, an appointed member who seemed very active at meetings — he’s outta there!  Finished eighth out of ten!  Some in the Republican Underground are mighty happy looking at that!  Apparently, trying to get Republicans to support someone with an African-American sounding (“Dewayne”) given name or a Latino sounding (“Florentz”) surname was a fool’s errand.  As for the exclusion of D.J. Shawver — I suppose that Mayor Quimby’s magic is no longer as strong these days.  (OJB misses you, Mr. Mayor.)

AD-68 Choices:

  • Fred Whitaker*
  • Austin Lumbard*
  • Todd Spitzer
  • Deborah Pauly*
  • Mark William Bucher*
  • Robert Walters (Businessman)     ARA-anti-corrupt
  • Benjamin Yu (City Commissioner)
  • Trevor O’Neil
  • Esther Koh
  • Deepak Singh Sahni
  • John Park
  • Scott “Rolling Thunder” Voigts
    • Denis Bilodeau (Water Board, Pension Sponge)
  • Ray Gennaway

Dennis Bilodeau, the less-offensive counterpart of Brett Barbre, was our target here.  We wanted Deb Pauley in there because if the GOP is going to be besotted with Trump, they should have to own it.  The only reason we didn’t want Todd Spitzer in there is that we wanted the appearance of non-partisanship.  The inclusion of Trevor O’Neil was because I was under the misapprehension that he had been somehow helpful to the Democratic resistance in Anaheim behind the scenes.  I have to admit, when they were both running for Anaheim’s Sixth District, I used to get him confused with Grant Henninger — and while I’m not sure how much Grant has done for the resistance it’s  possible that that colored my impression of O’Neil.  (I retracted this recommendation later when Vern would not stop making fun of me.)

AD-68 Results:

Uh, wow!  Even though I retracted my endorsement of O’Neil, the Republicans who were supposed to know him best placed him  tenth out of 14! He must be doing something really unpopular on the City Council; I wonder what it could be?  And how much further would he have fallen without those weeks with my mistaken endorsement?

TODD SPITZER, 30,939. 15.33%
FRED M. WHITAKER, 23,942, 11.86%
MARK WILLIAM BUCHER, 18,410, 9.12%
BENJAMIN YU, 17,381, 8.61%
AUSTIN LUMBARD, 16,151, 8.00%
RAY GENNAWEY, 15,461, 7.66%
DEBORAH PAULY, 15,260, 7.56%
JOHN PARK, 12,667, 6.27%
TREVOR O’NEIL, 10,561, 5.23%
ROBERT WALTERS, 9,844, 4.88%
ESTHER KOH, 6,985, 3.46%
DENIS BILODEAU, 6,628, 3.28%
DEEPAK SINGH SAHNI, 3,597, 1.78%

Spitzer in first; no surprise there.  Well, congratulations, DA.  Party Chair Whitaker in second — a bit of a surprise, given the rumbles in the underground! — but makes sense.  Deb Pauly finished just out of the money in 7th, ahead of Rolling Thunder and hilarious Irvine Mayoral campaigner John Park.  Then O’Neil!  Any other surprises out as I go down through the … Huh?  Denis Bilodeau finished 13th out of 14?

I don’t think that I can take credit for this result.  But I think that the credit has to go to Nick Gerda, who wrote this story about his compensation.  Turns out that perhaps people in the party don’t actually like that sort of thing!  Warms my heart!  And congratulations to Benjamin Yu for being the first Republican winner we see here with a racial minority-sounding name.  (How the hell did Esther Koh lose?)

AD-69 Choices:

This one makes me sort of sad.

  • Alberta Christy*
  • Tim Whitacre*
    • Thomas Anthony Gordon*
  • Cecilia Iglesias
  • Lewis Adame
  • Gisela Contreras
  • Brian Harrington
  • Jon Paul White
  • Karina Onofre

The target here was ass-mouthed Thomas Anthony Gordon.  (Don’t think I’ve never tried to do you a favor, OCGOP!)  Ceci Iglesias was also disfavored, but not officially.  On the positive side: Timothy “Tim” Whitacre, of course, and Karina Onofre — who really needs to find a home in one of the two major parties.

AD-69 Results:

ALBERTA CHRISTY, 5,313, 12.71%
BRIAN HARRINGTON, 5,085, 12.16%
GISELA CONTRERAS, 4,802, 11.49%
CECILIA “CECI” IGLESIAS, 4,734, 11.32%
JON PAUL WHITE, 4,221, 10.10%
LEWIS ADAME, 3,580, 8.56%
KARINA ONOFRE, 2,927, 7.00%

Tim Ryan did very well, but look at how high T.A. Gordon placed:  Third!  He will continue to spew racist and other vile word-vomit onto Facebook while representing the Republican Party.  Well, you can’t say that I (and the Underground) didn’t warn you!

So the woman about to be recalled in Santa Ana got the last ticket over the guy running against Tom Daly.  Nice.  As for Karina: I think I’ve already talked to you about where you’d fit in.  Good luck!

AD-72 Choices:

  • Andrew Do (Supervisor)
  • Kermit Marsh*
  • Jeffrey Barke*
  • Peter Amundson (Small Businessman)
  • Patrick Harper (FV Councilman)
  • Austin Edsell (Small Businessman)
  • Amy Phan West (Entrepreneur)
  • Eva Weisz (Community Volunteer)
  • Russ Neal (Electrical Engineer)
  • Zack McCready (Business Owner/Attorney)
    • Gracey Van Der Mark
  • Brian Burley (Business Owner)

The goal here was to keep Gracey VdM as far away from any sort of legitimacy as possible.  Andrew Do was a given, so he didn’t even need to be endorsed.  The question was which five other people had to exceed her.

AD-72 Results:

ANDREW DO, 23,818, 14.59%
PATRICK HARPER, 17,447, 10.69%
BRIAN BURLEY, 16,893, 10.35%
AMY PHAN WEST, 16,649, 10.20%
KERMIT MARSH, 15,491, 9.49%
JEFFREY BARKE, 13,946, 8.54%
PETER AMUNDSON, 13,539, 8.29%
AUSTIN J. EDSELL, 10,175, 6.23%
RUSS NEAL, 8,422, 5.16%
ZACK MCCREADY, 7,638, 4.68%
GRACEY VAN DER MARK, 6,681, 4.09%
RYAN BILLINGS, 6,400, 3.92%
EVA WEISZ, 6,159, 3.77%

Pretty good job here, voters.  GVdM finished 11th of 13.  Marsh and Barke both won — which I feel sort of bad about, because I think that the person suggesting Barke have been being sarcastic.  But, still — mission accomplished!  The Underground is pleased with half a loaf.

AD-73 Choices:

  • Laurie Davies (Laguna Hills Mayor)
  • Ed Sachs*
  • Mike Munzing (Aliso Viejo Mayor)
  • Lisa Bartlett* (Supervisor)
  • Greg Raths (Mission Viejo Mayor/Decorated Vet)
    • Diane L. Harkey (“Businesswoman”)
  • Nick Wilson (Property Manager)
  • DD Dominguez (Business Development Mgr)
  • Linda Kight (Commercial Property Mgr)
  • Art Sanchez (Realtor)
  • Jake Vollebregt (Businessmarine)
  • Candice Burroughs (Small Business Owner)
  • Elaine Gennawey (City Councilmember)
  • Shawn Gordon (Computer Consultant/Business)

Other than supporting Greg Raths, which was more my doing than that of my Republican informants, the main purpose here was to keep Diane Harkey off the path the regained legitimacy.  Later, when an astute reader revealed to me that DDD was a VdM acolyte, her initial recommendation was removed You’ll see what happened.

AD-73 Results:

LAURIE DAVIES, 45,984, 17.59%
GREG RATHS, 33,409, 12.78%
ED SACHS, 30,704, 11.75%
LISA A. BARTLETT, 30,217, 11.56%
DIANE L. HARKEY, 26,754, 10.24%
MIKE MUNZING, 26,473, 10.13%
JAKE VOLLEBREGT, 20,116, 7.70%
ELAINE GENNAWEY, 17,443, 6.67%
SHAWN M. GORDON, 7,574, 2.90%
NICK WILSON, 5,194, 1.99%
LINDA KIGHT, 4,581, 1.75%
ART SANCHEZ, 3,245, 1.24%
DD DOMINGUEZ, 2,101, 0.80%

Alas!  The Harkey evaded our grasp!  Finishing fifth should be humiliating, but not for one without a sense of shame.  Five of our six recommendations, all intended to crowd out Harkey, won seats — but to no avail.  I was told that Gennaway was the most likely to win among the rest; apparently, it was Vollebregt who could have made better use of the Orange Juice Bump.  Well, South OC GOP, you’ll have to live with the shame now!

Davies and Sachs both ran against Scott Rhinehart for this Assembly district, finishing first and fifth, so I’d like to think that there will be some tension between them.

In other news: Note:that Supv. Bartlett finished fourth, which probably is the most newsworthy result here (it does not speak well of her stature within the party).  But having had a chance to get rid of Harkey and failed speaks poorly of the South OC electorate.  (I doubt I ever actually needed to worry about DDD.)  You have disappointed me and the Underground, South OC!

AD-74 Choices:

  • Beth Johns Holder (Exec. Mgr.)
  • Erik Wiegand*
  • Thomas “T.J.” Fuentes* (Famous Son)
  • Will O’Neill (Newport Beach Councilmember)
  • Ben Chapman (Entrepreneur)
  • Kelly Ernby (Deputy DA)
  • Katherine Daigle (Small Business Owner)
  • Diane Dixon (Mayor)
  • Emily Sanford (Retired Navy Nurse)
  • Jennifer Sterling (Small Business Owner)
    • Scott Peotter (Architect) 
    • Mike Posey (Councilman)
  • Alison Burchette (Software Sales Exec)
  • Mike Gasca (Restaurateur)
  • Barbara George (Business Owner)
  • Mike Glenn (Small Business Owner)

The goal here, other than boosting Katherine Daigle and T.J. Fuentes (who reminds us that Nixon once lurked in OC), was to get as many Newport Beach people other than the Peotter onto the RPOC, while denying seats to the Peotter and Huntington Beach’s Mike Posey.

AD-74 Results:

DIANE DIXON, 29,441, 14.80%
KELLY ERNBY, 26,104, 13.12%
WILL O’NEILL, 19,488, 9.80%
THOMAS A. “T.J.” FUENTES, 17,763, 8.93%
ERIK K. WEIGAND, 17,043, 8.57%
EMILY SANFORD, 14,814, 7.45%
SCOTT PEOTTER, 13,429, 6.75%
MIKE POSEY, 11,065, 5.56%
BETH JOHNS HOLDER, 9,311, 4.68%
KATHERINE DAIGLE, 8,616, 4.33%
MIKE GLENN, 8,505, 4.28%
BARBARA GEORGE, 5,588, 2.81%
BEN CHAPMAN, 5,281, 2.65%
MIKE GASCA, 4,098, 2.06%
ALISON BURCHETTE, 2,469, 1.24%

WE DID ITPeotter and Posey finished out of the money, in 7th and 8th place!  That outweighs everything else.  We claim this victory in the name of all that is right and just.  (No, Katherine didn’t win, but we’re used to that.  She’s do better up north.)

Meanwhile, Dixon beat Ernby by a similar proportion to go against Cottie Petrie-Norris, so they may feel some tension as well.  As for the minor goal stacking the RPOC with Newport Beachers to offend everyone else: Dixon and O’Neill are both on the Newport Beach City Council.  TJ Fuentes lives in Newport (or at least claimed to back in 2015.)  Erik Weigand was on the Newport Beach Planning Commission, so presumably lived there (and probably still does.)  Only Ernby and Sanford live in Huntington Beach.

So hey, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, and the southern 2/3 of Irvine — do you feel well-represented in the RPOC by four people from Newport Beach and two from the southern half of Huntington Beach?  What about you?  You can always vote Democratic if you feel unappreciated!

And there, we end our story!  Except, I suppose for this:

Some skeptics (whom I shall not name) doubted that the views of OJB — even whenobtained largely from discussions over time with devout Republicans — would be of interest to anyone.

As of tonight, prior to this being published, the original article with our recommendations has gotten 1,886 views, 1,851 of them through Election Day.  Now maybe we didn’t move any votes — but that’s a lot of readers, and maybe we did!

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.)