2020 OC Filings #5 (as of 8/3) for Lake Forest, Tustin, Yorba Linda, San Clemente




Tustin Council member Letitia Clark, center, with others from Mothers Out Front, which sounds like a truly fantastic pro-alternative energy group.

As noted in our introduction to this year’s general election coverage, the filing period for all races is underway; it ends August 7 (or 8/6, for cities closed on 8/7, and with some extensions to 8/12) for all races that have made it this far.  Now we’ll look at the thirteenth through sixteenth most populous cities in the county — Lake Forest, Tustin, Yorba Linda, and Laguna Niguel — to see what’s going on.  Most of the election websites are really bad.  This will be updated as need be and time allows.

Lake Forest

Districts 1 and 5 are up.  The terms of Mike James and Dwight Robinson (both currently at large) are expiring.  No list of candidates is clearly available, even after some digging.  District 1 is mostly north of the 241, but goes up to above Portola west of Alton Pkwy.  District 5 is south of Muirlands as far east as Cavanaugh, then it stair-steps up northeast to the Mission Viejo border just south of Saddleback Ranch.  Here, look at it yourself.  Call the City Clerk, I suspect, if you want the candidate list.


It’s not clear how many seats are open or whose terms are expiring, but based on the candidate bios — yes, I actually had to go that far — it looks like:

Allan Bernstein is up but so far not running.  (If so, that means an extension to 8/12.)
Letitia Clark is up, and running.
Barry Cooper is not up.
Austin Lumbard is not up.
Chuck Puckett is up, but so far not running.  (If so, that means an extension to 8/12.)

So that looks like there are three seats up with only one incumbent.  In other words, a pretty significant election for Tustin!  (Too bad it takes so long to deduce that from the website!)

It’s also not clear who has pulled papers, or submitted them, or qualified, but … based on the 401 and 510 forms — yes, I actually had to go that far, too — the following candidates appear to be in the mix:

  • Kimberly Adams
  • Kurt Bensworth
  • Letitia Clark
  • Cristian James Cusac
  • Lee “Think” Fink
  • Ryan Gallagher
  • AJ Jha
  • James (or Jaime) Perez
  • Jorge Valdes

Re-electing Letitia Clark is Job #1.  No progressives should file; I think that Clark and other centrists are the best we can do for Tustin this year.  (Non-progressives — do what ya want.)

Yorba Linda

The behemoth of the North does not allow Windows 10 users from searching without allowing cookies.  Back later, perhaps.  Meanwhile, call the clerk.

San Clemente

San Clemente has two full-term and one half-term (2 year) positions open this year.   Its “Elections” page has no indication of where to find who has pulled or filed papers.  Chris Hamm and (by process of elimination) Gene James are up for election this year.


More on these as more information becomes available.

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.)