Santa Ana Mayor Vince Sarmiento lost a court battle today and as a result his candidate statement for the 2nd District of the OC Board of Supervisors won’t be able to note that he was endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County, according to the OC Independent.
State law prohibits the mention of political parties in ballot statements for non-partisan offices. Sarmiento should have known this and perhaps he did but he gambled that he might get away with it. However a local resident, Ivana Unger, took him to court and she won.
Ironically Sarmiento was represented in court on this matter by the same bankruptcy and marijuana lawyer, Glenn Calsada, who tried to save Roman Reyna in another lawsuit over a political campaign. Reyna lost that case too and was fined and banned from ever running for public office in Orange County again.
Sarmiento apparently has a working relationship with Caldada. He noted in his annual financial disclosure that he is paid between $10,000 and $100,000 a year as an employee of Calsada’s law firm.
Sarmiento’s court loss means he will have to spend thousands of dollars to send mail to the voters explaining that he is the candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party of Orange County.
Sarmiento is not the only Democrat running for the 2nd District. Garden Grove City Councilwoman Kim Bernice Nguyen, who is of Vietnamese and Mexican American descent, is also running and has been picking up quite a few endorsements. In fact she is endorsed by three City of Santa Ana Council Members – Nelida Mendoza; Thai Viet Phan and David Penaloza. She also recently was endorsed by State Senator Tom Umberg. Nguyen by the way has far more in common with the 2nd District residents than Sarmiento, who hails from Bolivia.
Other candidates for the 2nd District include two Republicans, former Santa Ana City Councilwoman Ceci Iglesias and Orange City Councilman Jon Dumitru and an independent, Juan Villegas, a former Santa Ana City Councilman and a longtime member of the OC Sheriff’s Department. Villegas is the only candidate for the 2nd District with a background in law enforcement.