“Like a Thief in the Night” – June Election is FOUR MONTHS FROM TODAY!

“For the Day of the Lord will come like a Thief in the Night.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:2

And just so, this year’s June Election is likely to sneak up on you and bite you on the ass – it is exactly four months away today (Monday Feb. 7) and have you put any thought into who you’re going to vote for, who you’re going to donate to, who you’re going to walk / phonebank for, who you’re going to tell all your friends about?

I’ve decided to call it the “June Election” rather than a “Primary” because many of the races will be “GAME OVER” on June 7, and some of those are important. There are three categories of races in a California June Election:

1. Simple Plurality (OCBOE)

The two races for the OC Board of Education, in which the county’s sane people have an outside chance of transforming that madhouse into a useful, constructive body, is “simple plurality” – just one shot. In a race with a lot of candidates somebody could win with only 20%. In 2020 Tim Shaw won with 33% of the vote, while three Democrats (including the saboteur Jordan Brandman) split up the other 67% – let’s not do that again this year! (Tim is a nice guy for a conservative Republican, and I voted for him for Supervisor in 2018, but on the OCBOE he’s just one more vote for Ken Williams’ nutty and wasteful Clown Crusades.)

This year, alt-right Williams allies Mari Barke (in HB/Seal Beach/Garden Grove area) and Lisa Sparks (South County) are up for re-election, and if there’s an unprecedented June 7 blue wave (from Democrats and other decent people) we could be replacing them and transforming the Board. But we can’t have more than one decent candidate in these races this time, and you all have to remember to VOTE “DOWNBALLOT.” We’ll let you know who the challengers are when they announce – the deadline for ALL these races is March 11!

Then there’s…

2. Top Two, OR 50% plus 1 Wins

A lot of June races are a kind of hybrid where if a candidate gets over 50% they win, and otherwise the top two go on to November – most notably the DA, Sheriff, and Supervisors.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY. This historic race is the most important one in the County this year. It’s well-known that this blogger, who had high hopes for Todd Spitzer as a reformer, is bitterly disappointed in him, and glad to see the progressive DPOC-backed prosecutor Pete Hardin taking on the deranged demagogue. But it put a lot of pressure onto the June election, since there was a good chance either of them could break 50%. Now that a third viable candidate has joined the race, the respectable bloodthirsty conservative Michael Jacobs, it’s very unlikely any of them will break 50% (unless a WHOLE LOT of Democrats come out in June) so two of them will go on to November. I’m betting that’ll be Spitzer vs Hardin, though Hardin vs Jacobs would be better.

SHERIFF. We’d love to see the smooth authoritarian Don Barnes gone, but nobody seems to be taking him on yet.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORSsee what district you’re in!

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 2. In this Central-County Latino-majority district, including Santa Ana and a lot of East Anaheim, so far we have Santa Ana Mayor Vincente Sarmiento running against Garden Grove inquisitor Kim Bernice Nguyen, and no incumbent. We wrote about this race here.

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 4. In this Northwest-County district, incumbent Doug Chaffee is being challenged by Sunny Kim, and right now we’re tilting toward Sunny. We also wrote about this here.

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 5. In this South Coastal district stretching from Costa Mesa and Newport to San Clemente, quasi-incumbent Democrat Katrina Foley (an Orange Juice favorite) WAS running against the awful Diane Harkey, but the Republicans have just recruited octogenarian politician Pat Bates; we don’t know yet if Diane will be forced to withdraw. We wrote about this here.

OTHER MINOR RACES – There are other races in this category that most of us don’t pay much attention to, and sometimes the incumbents are so uncontroversial that nobody runs against them. That would include Assessor, Auditor-controller, Clerk (everyone loves Hugh Nguyen), Treasurer (everyone loves Shari Freidenrich), Superintendent of Schools (Al Mijares does just fine), Superior Court Judges (who Greg will probably write about), Community College Boards, and … actually we DO care about OC Water District members Kelly Rowe should sail to re-election, and kleptocrat Dina Nguyen (in the Garden Grove area) will hopefully be challenged by someone honest.

UPDATE: State Board of Equalization should go here too. I’ll write more about this soon, but I know I’m for OJ friend David Dodson!

3. Traditional Top-Two Jungle Primary

These are the races where the top two from June go on to face each other in November, even if one candidate got 90% and the other got 10%. That’s basically Congress, State Senate and Assembly.

First, see what Congressional, Senate, and Assembly districts you’re in!

And now I’ll just share, from this handy Register resource, the folks currently running to represent YOU:

Congressional Races

  • 38 – La Habra (and LA County) – longtime incumbent Dem Linda Sanchez challenged by three nobodies.
  • 40 – North/East White/Republican district – Republican incumbent Young Kim‘s to lose unfortunately; challenged by maverick conservative Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths, psycho Trumpy Nick Taurus, and a Democrat named Asif Mahmood.
  • 45 – Majority Asian, Democrat-favoring district going from Fullerton and West Anaheim thru Cerritos and then catching all of Little Saigon. We are rooting hard for Democrat Jay Chen and against Trumpy Republican Michelle Steel; Cerritos Democrat Joseph Cho has also thrown his hat in, and is the only one who lives in the district. If you squint really hard you might think all these candidates are Vietnamese, but none of them are.
  • 46 – the central county (SA/East Anaheim) Latino district, where we are rooting for progressive Mike Ortega to beat heavy favorite Conservative Democrat incumbent Lou Correa; there are also a couple of clowns in the race.
  • 47 – coastal district from Seal to Laguna Beaches plus Irvine; Democrat superstar Katie Porter will be trying to hang on to this, and is being challenged by three Republicans – lobbyist and former OCGOP chairman Scott Baugh, Brian “Make HB Great Again” Burley, and the psychotic Amy Phan West. Which Republican will make it through June to get clobbered in November by the hyper-funded Porter?
  • 49, south county and into SD. We didn’t like Democrat Mike Levin at first but he’s been doing a great job his first two terms. He’s being challenged by three Republicans – corrupt, termed-out Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, former SJC mayor Brian Maryott, and some guy from Oceanslime.

State Senate – notice how it’s the EVEN-numbered seats that come up in 2018, 2022, 2026, etc.

  • 30 – Brea and some LA hinterlands – a VERY Democratic district – incumbent Pico Rivera Dem Bob Archuleta challenged by another Dem, Henry Bouchot of Whittier.
  • 32 – Yorba Linda and hinterlands of 3 other counties – a VERY Republican district – so far only Murietta assemblyman Kelly Seyarto (hey isn’t that where Steve Lodge really lives?)
  • 34 – Damn, Josh Newman WAS my senator, now Tom Umberg is. So far Tom is the only one running for this district which goes from south Whittier in L.A. County and swings southeast to include part of Fullerton, La Habra, Buena Park and Orange plus most of Anaheim and Santa Ana; very Democratic and Latino district. We deserve a better Democrat.
  • 36 – Cerritos, Little Saigon, and coastal OC from Seal to Laguna Beach (Wow, sounds huge!) Decent HB Democrat Kim Carr is taking on corrupt nightmare Janet Nguyen who just keeps bouncing from office to office.
  • 38 – inland south OC (Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, etc, down into San Diego County) – a Democratic district – and here’s where Joe Kerr has popped up his gopher head again (at least he really lives there), along with three others that who has ever heard of them. (Seriously maybe Democratic Encinitas mayor Catherine Blakespear has the best chance.)


  • 59 – so far nobody is challenging mediocre Republican incumbent Philip Chen for this boring and depressing white Republican district which includes Yorba Linda, Placentia, Brea, Anaheim Hills and North Tustin along with Chino Hills.
  • 64 – La Habra and a shitload of LA County, VERY Democratic. Surprise, our old friend Rose “Rosie’s Garage” Espinoza is running there, along with a shitload of LA Democrats we’ve never heard of.
  • 67 – is now the number of Sharon Quirk-Silva‘s very Democratic and Asian-American district including Fullerton, Buena Park, Cypress and west Anaheim plus Cerritos; this year’s Republican sacrificial lamb is one Sou Moua of Stanton; there’s also some person nobody knows anything about and I don’t have time to type their name.
  • 68 – a brave young man we love, Bulmaro “Boomer” Vicente, is taking on the most conservative Democrat in the assembly (and whitest man in OC) Tom Daly, in the very Democratic Santa Ana-Orange-Anaheim Latino district. We’ll be rooting, and working, for Boomer!
  • 70 – this Little Saigon district has a large Democratic advantage, surprisingly, so you’d think Garden Grove Democrat Diedre Nguyen (whom we like a lot) would have an advantage over the four mediocre Republicans she’s up against – Kimberly Ho, Ted Bui, Tri Ta, and Emily Hibard.
  • 71 – Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and the hardcore boondocks up to Temecula, very Republican, very white, so far an RSM Republican lady is taking on the Temecula mayor like a couple of tarantulas in a jar.
  • 72 – coastal OC from Seal to Laguna Beach (thus including HB and NB.) Very Republican and white. Newport Reep Diane Dixon probably has an advantage over Lake Forest Reep Benjamin Yu and Laguna Beach Democratic Animal Rights Activist Judie Mancuso (who I THINK used to direct a children’s choir that I accompanied a long time ago.)
  • 73 – this Irvine / Costa Mesa / Tustin district heavily favors Democrats, so you’d think unexciting Democrat Cottie Petrie-Norris should do well there against the mumbling Trumpy Steven Choi. Even though she doesn’t really live there.
  • 74 – this is the coastal South County district going down to Oceanslime, evenly balanced between parties, and I’m gonna go ahead and root for San Clemente Democrat Chris Duncan against incumbent Republican toll-troll Laurie Davies. I like Chris! There’s another Democrat too, Laurie Girand of SJC.

So, as more developments develop, you just KNOW what the Orange Juice Blog is going to keep you = = = APPRISED! And don’t let this important June Election sneak up on you – ballots go out around May 9, and voting centers open up May 24!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.