Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Phil Bacerra should have won last November, when Roman Reyna fraudulently took Ward 4 of the Santa Ana City Council. Reyna has since quit the Council and now has to pay back the taxpayers a half million dollars. Tonight Bacerra got closer to taking Ward 4 as he came out on top in the early polling in today’s Special Election.

Bacerra currently has just over 28% of the total vote, with 2,991 votes, edging out former Planning Commissioner Beatriz Mendoza, who has 24.7% of the vote.

Should Bacerra maintain his lead he will become the first Filipino-American member of the Santa Ana City Council and perhaps the second Asian to serve in this manner. Apparently there was a Japanese American on the City Council many years ago.

Former Santa Ana planner Manny Escamilla has 23.5% of the vote; Bishop Gale Oliver Jr. has 10.8% of the vote; Arts Commissioner Jennifer Oliva has 8.3% of the vote and in last place is businessman Brandon Sisco, with 4.5% of the vote – 475 votes to be precise.

As we predicted the turnout was super low. We did not expect the race to be this close. Mendoza did a lot better than we expected – but there is no second place prize for her.

David Benavides and his pal Roman Reyna

Over in the SAUSD School Board race the only teacher on the ballot, Carolyn Torres, is firmly in control with 45.4% of the vote while former Santa Ana City Councilman David Benavides is watching his political career careen to an end with 31.9% of the vote. Perhaps campaigning alongside Reyna was a bad idea after all?

Torres’ apparent victory is bad news for charter schools and for parents who value school choice.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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