Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

Lou Correa on the State Senate Floor

State Senator Lou Correa has opted not to run for Mayor of Santa Ana.  Why did he get cold feet?



“After a review of various factors, I have decided not to run for Mayor at this time,” Correa (D-Santa Ana) stated in an email to a Voice of OC reporter. “I was deeply touched by all of the calls of encouragement that I received from folks from all walks of life, and all across party lines. I thank you all,” according to the Voice of OC.

Well that statement tells us nothing at all.  What I heard from several inside sources was that Correa didn’t think he could beat the longtime incumbent, Mayor Miguel Pulido.  Correa has enough money in his vast campaign war chest that I would be willing to wager that he conducted a poll and the results were no bueno.  Pulido, apparently, is still the man in Santa Ana.

Correa has other aspirations.  Apparently he wants to run for State Attorney General in 2016.  And you can bet that if Hillary Clinton is elected to the White House in 2016 and she then appoints U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez to her cabinet, then Correa will no doubt run for Congress.

And I suppose that Correa may yet try again for the First District of the Orange County Board of Supervisors if the gal who replaced him in that seat, Janet Nguyen, beats Jose Solorio this November for Correa’s seat in the 34th State Senate District.

One thing we know for sure, had Correa run for Mayor and lost it would have ruined his political career.  So he folded and took his cards home.

So what now?  Two Santa Ana Council Members have pulled papers to run for Mayor, including first term Councilman Roman Reyna, an alleged high school dropout who isn’t qualified to be hired as a City Intern, and Councilman Vince Sarmiento, an attorney and business owner who might be the smartest of the Council Members but is as weak as they come.

I have it on good authority that Pulido is all in.  In which case I will be supporting him again.  He is still, by far, preferable to the likes of Reyna and Sarmiento.  His critics can assail him til the cows come home but look around this city and Pulido’s imprint is everywhere.  He has made a difference in Santa Ana and you sure can’t say that about his Council colleagues.

Might someone else run for Mayor?  Sure.  I expect a few gadflys to jump in like they always do but with Correa out this is Pulido’s race to lose.  And he won’t lose barring an indictment for whatever real estate shenanigans the authorities have been looking into.

Let’s take a ride in the wayback machine and have a look at Pulido’s last three contests:

  • In 2008 Pulido was challenged by Councilwoman Michele Martinez and two gadfly candidates in the form of George Collins and Stanley Fiala.  Pulido got 55% of the vote.  Martinez ended up with a paltry 29.3% of the vote.  Collins and Fiala were negligible. (Source: Smart Voter)
  • While Martinez was way over her head in 2008, Pulido faced a seasoned attorney and politician himself in 2010 when Alfredo Amezcua challenged him.  Amezcua had served previously on the Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Board of Trustees until reportedly he had to resign when it was discovered that he had listed his law office as his address and in fact he lived in a different area.  Amezcua spent a fortune but in the end Pulido got 49.5% of the vote and Amezcua ended up with 26.8% if the vote.  There were three gadfly candidates in that race – Charles Hart, George Collins and Roy Alvarado.  Their results were negligible but they did eat into Amezcua’s vote and perhaps a bit of Pulido’s too as Hart and Collins did collect some Republican votes that usually go to Pulido. (Source: Smart Voter)
  • Pulido was challenged by Councilman David Benavides in 2012, even as Benavides’ marriage was reportedly falling apart.  Benavides had a lot of support from a now unified opposition and he raised a lot of money from apartment developers, other developers and the police union.  Yet in the end Pulido got 48.2% of the vote and Benavides had to make do with 26.7% of the vote.  There were several gadfly candidates including George Collins, Lupe Moreno, Roy Alvarado and Miguel Angel Briseno.  They collectively netted about 25% of the vote. (Source: Smart Voter)

It should be noted that the union-funded Voice of OC has been attacking Pulido non-stop for awhile.  The head of the Orange County Employee’s Association, Nick Berardino, has it in for Pulido for a couple of reasons.  He is mad that Pulido did not support the womanizing Tom Umberg a few years ago in a Supervisorial race that Janet Nguyen won.  And Berardino, who is an ally of former State Senator Joe Dunn, apparently didn’t like that Pulido fought to keep the Federal Court of Appeals here in Santa Ana.  Dunn tried to move that court to Irvine.  Pulido saved a lot of jobs by keeping the Court of Appeals in town.  Berardino and Dunn are big dogs at the Voice of OC yet despite all the attacks on Pulido he just keeps winning.

I started helping Pulido in 2010.  I talked to Amezcua but quickly developed distaste for him. He had made a lifetime of defending gang bangers and drug dealers.  So I helped Pulido.  And in 2012 I did so again because I have never been a fan of Benavides and continue to not be impressed by him.

Sarmiento seems harmless enough but he is not a leader and he lacks vision.  And he is as week as a Kleenex tissue.  He is quite simply not Mayoral material.  And he barely won when he ran for re-election in 2012.  Sarmiento edged out the unknown Estela Amezcua, a teacher who did not run a campaign and did not spend any money on her race, by just 4% of the vote, according to Smart Voter.  Sarmiento, a Bolivian by extraction, should stick to running nightclubs, which is what has made his family wealthy.

I expect to hear from Pulido again soon.  Then it will be time to beat another bunch of sad sack candidates in November.

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.

9 thoughts on “Why did Lou Correa pull out of the Santa Ana Mayor’s race?”
  1. May the best man win, is what I have always thought. But my adversaries repeatedly tout partisan bullshit. Many of them from the cheap seats (Villa Park, Brea, Orange, Long Beach and Irvine).

    I have always maintained if a viable, better alternative came along, I would support him/her. The reality is, none have.

    Support, trust and votes are earned, which is why I was so puzzled by Julio Perez, not becoming more involved in Santa Ana. Imagine a Overweight, Homosexual, Bankrupt union shill making it to office, If he could do it anyone could! The fact is, there is no glory in helping our community, which is why Santa Ana has the sad sack of council members we do today.

    Even the best among them have their spouses running interference and threating voters.

    Like I said: “May the best man win”.

    1. Yep, something was in the air last night. Pulido did another one of his Dictatorial grand stands last night.
      Brought out the Karate Kids again and the 15 floral park whiteys that think the Artists Village is all about them.
      Damn colonialists seriously need to check themselves.
      Their puppet Miguel might just win again but he is the minority vote.

  2. He brainwashed everyone again….you were once a grape and now your a raisin ….time for a new mayor….smart man correa enjoy your retirement….

    1. Who brainwashed everyone again? I can assure you there is no brainwashing of anyone going on in Santa Ana. There are just a bunch of terrible Mayoral candidates. Compared to them Pulido is the best of the bunch.

      1. Well, I guess we will see if Sarmiento has the cajones he fronts if he actually files his Mayoral candidacy papers instead of just “pulls” them.

  3. The Floral Park rumor mill has it that Lou’s wife told him she was tired of solely supporting the family and that he needed to find a better paying jo

  4. So is it true that Correa is “shopping” his poll results?

    I am told it was narrow in scope, having more to do with name recognition than issues. But it would still be valuable to the Amezcua/Benavides cabal. Keep in mind if Lou used campaign funds he can’t sell it. But that doesn’t include a quid pro quo deal for future support.

    Floral Park is right though. Lou IS pulling down a hundred and a half from the Senate. Plus he double dips on cars and expenses. He rarely pays the tab for drinks and has been known to sell his SWA buddy passes for CASH. Maybe he was afraid of joining the other underdemployed council members.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.