I saw mayoral candidate Sal Tinajero speak at several campaign events leading up to the Nov. 6 General Election. Every time I heard him he was incredibly nasty – and his diatribes were at best filled with half-truths. The voters, needless to say, didn’t buy his act and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido beat him convincingly.
But Pulido is going to term out in two years. What will happen then?
I suppose Tinajero might run again but he is terming out this year so he won’t have the benefit of the “City Councilman” ballot title. And the apartment developer who largely funded Tinajero’s campaign this year likely won’t do so again.
The obvious candidate to replace Pulido is Ward 3 City Councilman Jose Solorio. Of all the likely candidates Solorio figures to pick up support from the same interests that have always backed Pulido. And Solorio has a huge campaign warchest of his own.
Other candidates that might emerge include:
- Former Santa Ana City Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez – she is still in politics, serving on the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board of Trustees. However she voted to embroil the district in a bad deal with the murderous Saudi regime. And Alvarez might be unemployed soon. She works for OCDA Tony Rackauckas who lost in this year’s General Election to his nemesis, Todd Spitzer. I am told that Spitzer is no fan of Alvarez. As such I expect her to get fired soon after Spitzer gets sworn in. Let’s see what law firm will hire her after that…
- Current City Councilman Juan Villegas – he soundly beat Roman Reyna a few years ago to gain his seat in Ward 5. Villegas enjoys the support of the Santa Ana Police Officers Association as well. However he still works in law enforcement and I doubt he will want to run for Mayor as that is a part-time job that demands a lot of your time.
- Current City Councilman Vince Sarmiento – he is terming out in two years, so why not run for Mayor? Then again he barely won his last few City Council elections and his cousin lost in this year’s Ward 2 election. I suspect the Sarmiento brand is played out in Santa Ana.
- New City Councilwoman Ceci Iglesias – She endured terrible attacks this year but emerged victorious over two other women, Nelida Mendoza and Mirna Velasquez. Iglesias has been a top vote-getter while serving on the SAUSD School Board. She represents a constituency that is often ignored in Santa Ana. And she is consistently fiscally conservative. That will have broad appeal as the City of Santa Ana continues to slide towards bankruptcy.
- Benjamin Vazquez – a hysterical socialist who ran against Mayor Pulido a couple years ago and got creamed. I can see him running again. Someone has to come in last…
Any one else come to mind? I suppose there might be a few surprises. While Solorio has several key advantages there will be a lot of interest in the Mayor’s position, particularly because Mayor Pulido has held it for so long.