Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

Six people applied to replace former Santa Ana City Councilman Roman Reyna by the deadline at noon Tuesday, March 12, according to the O.C. Register.



The candidates include:

  • Phil Bacerra (D), a former Santa Ana Planning Commissioner who sued Reyna after the November election on the grounds that Reyna screwed up his campaign paperwork and never should have been allowed on the ballot. Phil was right!
  • Kenneth Khanh Nguyen (No Party Preference – NPP), a Santa Ana Planning Commissioner
  • Jennifer Oliva (D), a Santa Ana Arts and Culture Commissioner
  • Gale Oliver, Jr. (No Party Preference – NPP), a Baptist bishop
  • Phillip Ortiz, Jr. (No Party Preference – NPP), an Internet installer
  • Maricela Vallejo (No Party Preference – NPP), a Santa Ana Personnel Board Member

Our position is that Reyna’s seat should go to Bacerra, who was cheated out of victory last year. To make matters worse, Bacerra was smeared by Reyna’s supporters in what was perhaps the ugliest campaign we have ever seen. The fair thing to do would be to appoint Bacerra. This is particularly true as he is one of only two Asian candidates being considered by the City Council.

Apparently Council Members Jose Solorio and Vince Sarmiento are favoring the other Asian candidate, Kenneth “Ken” Khang Nguyen, who was successfully sued by Novell for copyright infringement back in 1997, because of a software piracy scheme. Nguyen is an affable fellow but it is likely that he is favored because he will go along to get along – and Solorio allegedly wants a candidate who will do his bidding.

I have met Bishop Gale Oliver before. He is very engaging. He has his hands full with his congregation though. While the City Council job is a part-time position it actually turns out to be almost full time – as any of our current City Council Members can attest.

I don’t know Jennifer Oliva or Maricela Vallejo but they are, like Nguyen, both City Commissioners. And we certainly could use more women on our City Council as currently only one City Council Member, Ceci Iglesias, is a woman.

My guess is that the City Council will not be able to muster four votes for any of these candidates. It is likely that we are headed for a Special Election that will take place in November, at the same time as the upcoming SAUSD Special election.

By Editor

Art Pedroza started Orange County's first political blog, the Orange Juice, back in 2003. He now publishes the top civic blog in Orange County - New Santa Ana, plus other blogs including New Anaheim, New Fullerton and the Irvine News Blog, as well as the OC Politics Blog.

2 thoughts on “Six candidates have applied to replace Roman Reyna on the Santa Ana City Council”
  1. Juan Villegas is behind Ken Nguyen. Once again, the City Council is costing taxpayers money because they can’t agree.

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