It looks like the Santa Ana City Council majority will not be able to put a district election measure on the June ballot after all. A judge ruled today that Mayor Miguel Pulido should have signed their paperwork submitting the district election measure to the O.C. Voter Registrar. But it is too late for that measure to make it to the June ballot, according to the O.C. Register.
What this means is that Council Members Michele Martinez, David Benavides and Sal Tinajero are going to term out this November. They will have to be replaced in the November election.
Here are the Santa Ana City Council candidates that I am aware of at the moment:
- Former Santa Ana City Councilman Roman Reyna is allegedly running for Ward 4. Reyna used to serve in Ward 5 but he lost to the current incumbent, Juan Villegas. Now Reyna will apparently try to replace his friend Benavides in Ward 4.
- Santa Ana Planning Commissioner Phil Bacerra has also pulled papers to run for Ward 4. That is pretty awkward as Bacerra has been a longtime ally of Reyna and Benavides. I am guessing that Bacerra will end up running for Ward 2.
- LGBTQ activist Laura Kanter has pulled papers to run for Ward 2, which is currently represented by Michele Martinez.
- Other candidates for Ward 2 include Irma Macias, Sandra Pena and David Penaloza. Penaloza has a campaign website up already.
- Mirna Velasquez ran for Ward 2 a couple years ago. Now she has pulled papers for Ward 6, which is currently represented by Sal Tinajero. Velasquez will likely have the support of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association.
- Sal Tinajero and Michele Martinez are both running for Mayor. When I last spoke to the incumbent, longtime Mayor Miguel Pulido, just a week or so ago he said he was not sure if he was going to run again. He can do so one more time. I believe he will run for reelection. And he will likely win yet again as Tinajero and Martinez are going to cannibalize the opposition vote. One of them should pull out. Martinez does however have an edge over Tinajero as the only woman in the Mayor’s race.
It is still very early. I expect quite a few more candidates will file for the Santa Ana City Council election over the next few months.
Reyna will have a tough time raising money. Bacerra is tight with a few developers but he is a first-time candidate for office. That will hamper his fundraising.
Kanter likely won’t have a lot of campaign money but she has a large social network. She will get earned media for sure. She has a German last name but is browner than me. But will the voters figure that out? It is awful tough at this point for candidates with non-Hispanic surnames to get elected in Santa Ana.
Our city is sliding into bankruptcy due to profligate spending and the looming public employee pension crisis. Now more than ever we need to elect adults not petty politicians!
And in the end the biggest issue in town remains crime. The candidates who oppose the police will lose, guaranteed. Reyna found that out the hard way a few years ago. Let’s see if he learned his lesson.