This Wednesday, June 30, marks the end of the first campaign finance reporting period, which means that local candidates are scrambling to raise more money in advance of the deadline, so their first campaign finance report will look decent.
Many of the incumbents in town lack opponents. Councilman David Benavides is unchallenged, as is Councilwoman Michele Martinez.
Mayor Miguel Pulido is opposed by local attorney Alfredo Amezcua. And Councilman Sal Tinajero is opposed by a man he once appointed to a City Commission, Thomas Gordon, who resides part-time in Denver, Colorado, as well. Gordon is actively involved in opposing graffiti in both Santa Ana and Denver.
The hottest race figures to be the Mayor’s race. I doubt that Gordon will be able to raise much money, but Amezuca can and will, and he figures to self-fund as well.
Gordon, incidentally, just won reelection to the OC GOP’s 69th Assembly District Central Committee, but he came in fourth place out of about a dozen candidates. They ran for a total of six seats, which is to say that Gordon didn’t do that well. He angered many Republicans by supporting carpetbagger Harry Sidhu for the 4th Supervisorial District in the primary election. Sidhu got blown out by the winner, Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson, who also has a law office in Santa Ana. Sidhu also lost in his race for the 69th AD Central Committee. He came in second to last, despite Gordon’s support.
As you can see in the picture above this post, not everyone in town is buying into Amezcua’s campaign. Latinos will be split between him and Pulido, and who knows about everyone else. The emergence of other mayoral candidates is almost assured.
I spoke to one potential candidate this week, business owner Irene Ibarra. She ran for the SAUSD School Board in 2008, and she says she is definitely running for Mayor in November. Ibarra plans to self-fund her race. She spent six figures on her school board race and has the ability to do that again.
Past mayoral candidate Stanley Fiala and Councilman David Benavides
We may yet see a challenger emerge to take on Benavides. I am hearing chismes that some of the Council Members are working hard to recruit a candidate. They aren’t happy about Benavides’ alliance with the folks known as the “Usual Suspects.” They are also afraid that when Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez terms out, Benavides will run his friend Roman Reyna for her seat.
Councilwoman Michele Martinez
Martinez may also draw a challenger or two. Last time she barely won over Com-Link Chairwoman Evangeline Gawronski, who was betrayed by her friends in the Usual Suspects. They backed Tino Rivera, who was a lousy candidate. Parks and Recreation Commissioner Tish Leon also ran, but I don’t see her doing so again as Martinez put her on the Parks and Recreation Commission.
I spoke to Martinez today. She has raised a lot of money but could have raise more had she not canceled a fundraiser that ended up scheduled the night the Lakers won their Championship. She will reschedule that event in July.
Good luck to all the candidates. It takes a lot of moxy to run for office. And the campaign finance paperwork is a real pain to fill out!