Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Will Irene Ibarra run for Santa Ana Mayor?

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and his challenger, local attorney Alfredo Amezcua, figure to have a fierce, expensive campaign this fall.  Their rancor just might create an opportunity for an alternative candidate to run – and win.

So who else might run for Mayor of Santa Ana?

Believe it or not, there are a few folks out there that are interested in running.

I spoke the other day to business owner Irene Ibarra, who ran in 2008 for the Santa Ana Unified School District’s Board of Education.  Ibarra spent six figures on that race and put out a lot of mail. 

Ibarra didn’t win but that was primarily because SAUSD Trustee John Palacio ran her on a slate with businessman Mike Gonzalez, who clearly wasn’t ready for prime time.  Gonzalez and Palacio essentially tanked Ibarra’s campaign.

But Ibarra’s massive campaign expenditure got her name out and as such she would be a viable candidate for Mayor.  She once worked for the City of Santa Ana, years ago, and knows the ins and outs of City Hall like few others.

What about George Collins?  He has run for Mayor before (also in 2008) and is a known quantity to a lot of folks.  Yes, he is quirky, but he is also a dedicated community volunteer and he has some good ideas.  He is also married to a lovely Peruvian nurse who speaks fluent Spanish.

How about Stanley Fiala?  He also has run for Mayor before.  Many times.  The Czech immigrant is a Libertarian and like Collins can be quirky, if not downright odd at times.  But he is always a hoot at the Council debates!  Of course Fiala only got about one thousand votes in 2008, but he really didn’t run much of a campaign.  And Fiala is married to a Mexicana, which might get him a few votes if she joined him on the campaign trail.

The real stealth candidate might be Evangeline Gawronski, the Chair of Comm-Link, an organization of Santa Ana Neighborhood Associations.  She ran for the City Council in 2006, and came darn close to winning in Ward 2.  She only lost by about 700 votes.

How about Jim Walker?  He ran for the City Council and lost to Vince Sarmiento, in 2008, but he got a lot of votes.  Walker is a Democrat and a good community guy with a solid record of volunteering for various educational organizations.

Will any of these posible candidates run?  Hard to say.  We still have a lot of time for them to make up their minds…



By Editor

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

14 thoughts on “Who else might run for Mayor of Santa Ana this year?”
  1. Why did you have to include that two of the White guys considered for the mayor’s race, are married to Latinas? Is that some kind of litmus test for public office in SA??? No wonder the city is thought of as some kind of corrupt Banana Republic…

    1. Jose,

      I thought it was worth noting as it will make it easier for them to reach out to Latino voters.

      It is not a litmus test, but let’s be honest, it certainly isn’t a hindrance.

      If you look at our demographics, we are clearly a Latino majority city – that said, Latinos often do not vote and we have had a significant number of Vietnamese residents move in over the past five years.

      Running for office in this town is an expensive enterprise and it is hard to reach out to everyone. As your comments indicate, it is also difficult not to upset someone in the process.

      I wish all these potential candidates luck. Should they run they will be at least doing more than the average resident to try to address our city’s problems.

  2. Admin,
    Would it be thought of as a slanderous remark, if I said “Don’t vote for my opponent because he/she is married to a Latino”? Or, if I was a Black/Latino/Asian candidate, said “Don’t vote for my opponent because he/she is married to a White”? You understand the point I’m trying to make. Thank you.

    1. Jose,

      I do understand your point. I don’t think that would be slanderous although some might call it xenophobic or racist. In either case, those sort of campaign messages would sink most campaigns…

  3. Additionally, I went through this with a Latino candidate, that used that type of campaign tactic against me. He claimed I “didn’t understand OUR (meaning Hispanic) community”. Talk about racial politics…

  4. I will say, I would like to see a bigger field for the mayor/council races. I do not personally know any of the named possible cadidates, but I do know of Pulido’s political connections. His friendship with George Pla and Cordoba is public knowledge, and nobody should be surprised that the OC Grand Jury took exception to how the Street Car Project was handled. I read both the report and the Register articles about the decision to award Pla the contract, and also the articles in the LA Weekly that took Cordoba to task for shoddy contracts/development. While I agree it doesn’t look like anything illegal took place, the whole thing stinks and Pulido is going to have to defend his involvment.

    On another note, what rude remarks have been made here about Alfredo Amezcua and his daughter! I don’t know the guy, or his family, but have seen him at the central court house numerous times. I don’t have any idea what his views are, or whether he will make a good candidate, so how about the other posters holding their remarks till his platform gets out there?

    1. Jose,

      I agree. Hopefully the readers will take note.

      As for Cordoba, Amezcua partnered with him on his ill-fated Santa Ana Business Bank, so his hands aren’t clean either.

      I have also been disappointed that Amezcua has not been more forthright about what he intends to do. His campaign website is filled with political-speak and no ideas.

      Hopefully more candidates will emerge soon…

  5. I Roger V Ibarra Brother Of Irene Ibarra will run for Mayor of Santa Ana and am asking for your support I am a retired Operating Engineer Local 12

  6. Is Zeke Hernandez going to run Roger Ibarra’s field campaign and will they have F Trooper’s walk precints for him? I understand that Al Amezcua and Roger Ibarra are OG’s (old gangsters) from the 1970’s.

  7. George Collins stands behind having a remote control outdoor track here in the city the r/c
    Community stands behind you and it’s in the hundreds….

  8. “a remote control outdoor track here in the city the r/c’……. Hmmmmm

    Since I am out of the loop in this issue, Can someone explain to me why is City resisting the r/c?

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