Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

UPDATE: Council Member Sal Tinajero has pulled papers to run against Mayor Pulido this November.  Chisme has it that Benavides will be pressured to get out of the race ASAP.



UPDATE: Council Member David Benavides has announced that he is running for Mayor.  Pulido has nothing to worry about.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido’s detractors are befuddled about how exactly he keeps on winning, every two years.  What they don’t understand is that their views don’t reflect the views of the residents at large in our city.

Santa Ana is a huge city.  The “inside baseball” and chismoso/gadfly set is fairly small, perhaps a hundred people at most.  In 2010, mayoral challenger Alfredo Amezcua lined up a lot of these folks – and combined them with the dwindling “Usual Suspects.”  Amezcua spent a quarter million dollars and he thought he had victory in the bag.  But you see what he was listening to was an echo chamber – and he failed to reach the majority of voters in Santa Ana.

It appears that Amezcua will not run this year – instead he will focus on getting his daughter Valerie elected to the SAUSD School Board, but he has been looking for someone to oppose Pulido – and no one is stepping up.

There have been rumors that one of the Santa Ana City Council members may challenge Pulido, but we already know how that would work out.  In 2008, Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez ran against Pulido.  She had much of the “inside baseball” crowd on her team, including Amezcua.  She lost – although she did better than Amezcua did in 2010.

Don’t expect Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez to challenge Pulido.  I suspect that by next week she will announce her campaign for either the SAUSD School Board or, more likely, the Rancho College Board.

Pulido can raise more money than anyone else.  And if you want to judge him by performance, the fact is that over the past year he, the Council and City Manager Paul Walters have pulled the City of Santa Ana out of the budget fire. 

One question many of the chismosos have is why does Pulido keep running?  I believe at this point that he is carefully building his legacy – which in the end will be heavily based on transportation.  Drive up and down Bristol St. and you will see his cornerstone – but that is just the start.  He tells me that he is very close to getting funding for his proposed light rail system, which would traverse the old P & E line and slice through many of Santa Ana’s fading central neighborhoods.  This light rail system would be a game changer in Santa Ana – and it could be done within 7 years.

Roman Reyna pictured second from right, next to Carlos Bustamante

Pulido’s critics would do well to focus on the Council races this November as the real power in City Hall is the ability to garner four votes on the Council.  SAUSD Trustee Roman Reyna appears to be a shoo-in over in Ward 5, which Alvarez is vacating.  Over in Ward 3 it would appear that Planning Commissioner Eric Alderete has victory in the bag, with four opponents who all have white surnames.  But Pulido is backing former City Council Member Brett Franklin, who served before the disgrace that is Carlos Bustamante.

Don’t overlook the SAUSD School Board and Rancho College Board races.  Some of the politicians who win those seats will be running for the Council in two years, when Council Members Sal Tinajero, David Benavides, and Martinez will be up for reelection.  Martinez was badly damaged in 2008 and in this year’s open primary, when she ran for the 69th Assembly District and was grossly attacked by liberal union hack Julio Perez – another guy who listened to the echo chamber and ended up losing.

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.

10 thoughts on “Why they can’t beat Miguel Pulido – and he will win again this year”
  1. Well written post Art. Most residents don’t watch cable t.v. and even those that do…most never watch council meetings. That’s slso why very few candidates attend debates/forums before elections (Did you notice there was not even one debate in the 69th Assembly Race this year? If they don’t need debates why would candidates attend for local races in Santa Ana?) You hit the nail on the head.

    1. Thanks – I have worked very hard to inform our residents and while we enjoy great readership it is still the tip of the iceberg. Most people in town are concerned about going to church today and about what is for lunch, not what Pulido or any other politicians are up to…

  2. Pulido, Benavides, Reyna, and Alderete are all supporters of “The Arts” in Santa Ana. It is the job of U.A.S.A. to make sure that “Arts and Culture” is not used as an exploitation device and smoke screen for wealth distribution from the existing communities and organizations to out of town gentrifying monied interests. Slow Growth is key. Santa Ana needs to be built for an integrated classless society! Maybe the transportation designs will encourage that or maybe they will harm that concept. Less superficial colonialism, and more progressive integration. We could have had 5 intercity futuristic parks and 5 different “culture centers” and so much more had the city not put all their eggs in the One Broadway Tower. Downtown L.A. built skyscrapers but lost the streets for decades. They are only now recovering their Downtown from that neglect.

    1. Imagine though if the OBP Tower was a mixed use development, with living spaces, and if the roof was a public park, with a mini-observatory…

  3. Yes, let’s put a pretty round dome on top of that p.tower. Fill it with 75% corporate money shufflers,20% state bureaucrats and 5% low-income displaced persons from other city projects. Mixed use.

  4. Dear Art, Who is running in Ward 1 against Sarmiento? Doesn’t it just take 25 signatures to get on the ballot? Seems like there must be some good people who might like to try. Isn’t it free if you don’t want a ballot statement? Who do you think would be a good neighborhood leader from that Ward to try? They still have until Aug. 10th to file right?
    Keep up this great blog.

  5. “Why they can’t beat Miguel Pulido – and he will win again this year”……….. Hmmmmmmm

    Because Pulido is irrelevant in representing mainly undocumented population which is relying on the underground economy.

    Such economy ignores government and is mainly concern, as you have correctly pointed out, about going to church today and about what is for lunch, not what Pulido or any other politicians are up to

    Because of that Pulido developed his internal believes that he is not a subject to the earthly rules of physic same as Carlos and Claudia did.

    Pulido has developed his own underground economy and is living from the one statute of limitation to another.

    I agree with you Art that “he will win again this year” but I doubt that he will finish as a winner in that or next term.

    The Santa Ana winds are blowing strong now which his house of cards can’t withstand.

  6. For all he has done in Ward 1 for our neihborhood I wish Jim Walker would run again. He always adds to the conversation regarding Santa Ana issues and this just might be the year they throw the bums out and vote in positive change via Mr. Walker. Jim has done more to stop smoking in Santa Ana than anyone else I can think of and always has a positive word to say about others. Does anyone know if Jim is available to run this year? Hope so.

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