Primary election night was either joyful or a disappointment depending on the race you most cared about. There are still two races way to close to call — the second spot for Fourth District supervisor and for the second spot in CD-48 — but the notion Democrats would be shut out of key Congressional races in California’s jungle primary turned out not to be true. Most of the candidates endorsed by the DPOC did not make it to the next round (but the previously addressed races still need to be called and a DPOC shutout can still be averted) so in backing candidates, the party needs to spent time listening to voters.
Time to rally around the winners.
In CD-45, Dave Min, Brian Forde and Kia Hamadanchy have all encouraged support for Katie Porter — demonstrating party unity and that as candidates, they were true to their word that ridding this district of Mimi Walters was a high priority. In CD-39, the larger number of Democrats in the race did not stop Gil Cisneros from making it to the top two against former assembly candidate Young Kim. Without a state senate race, Cisneros will need some help from Sharon Quirk-Silva voters who only gave the incumbent State Rep a narrow win. Josh Newman ought to use his volunteers to make sure Cisneros can overcome Kim’s GOP base.
I’m thrilled to see voters in CD-49 sent Mike Levin to the final against the corrupt Diane Harkey. Levin’s win revealed a few things about this district: the military vote in CD-49 isn’t as big as some people perceive and that true grassroots support can win over wealthy candidates who can self-fund their races. My question is will Colonel Applegate supporters sit this one out or will they rally to Levin over Harkey?
As the votes continue to be counted in CD-48 (I’m told the ROV is putting a priority on the close races first), I’m certain whichever candidate ultimately prevails against Dana Rohrabacher is going to send the Congressman into retirement. Republicans are going to use the nastiness of the races in CD-45, 48 and 49 in literature this November against our Democratic candidates. Turn the negative into a positive and make this Republican incumbents actually debate and campaign.
For those not moving on for Congress or other county wide seats, there are still city elections and school board races where great candidates are needed. There’s no Democratic candidate for Mayor of Irvine, for example, and Wagner has his eyes on Todd Spitzer’s seat so he really doesn’t want the job.
The race I cared about the most was Irvine’s Measure B. I was reminded that every elected Democrat in OC was for Yes on B. The DPOC and the OC GOP were for it. As of last night, the No’s have a more than 7,000 vote advantage. Social media shares suggest the Yes on B side hasn’t given up on the Freeway Land swap, but those elected officials and candidates for office who seek to defy the will of Irvine’s voters do so at their peril. It’s time to work on putting a Cemetery at the ARDA site which is actually on the hallowed grounds of the El Toro base instead of the federal land near the freeway that never was part of the base. Estimates are the FivePoint’s agents funded VALOR to the tune of $1.5 to $2 million dollars while the “No on B” side spent about $100,000. Irvine voters looked past the 15-1 or 20-1 odds.
I recognize the Yes on B people believe the No on B win means former Irvine mayor Larry Agran will use this as a springboard to run for office again, but I think it’s unlikely he will. The vote does demonstrate that Agran, and former mayors and council members Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang, still wield powerful influence in the city. The council majority has a choice — listen to the voters and residents they represent or continue to find ways for the developers to benefit. The voters have already spoken twice on the cemetery and once on the ability of voters to create referendums when the council acts in the developers interest over that of residents.
This is the second time Irvine voters have told the city council where they want the cemetery AND how tired they are of elected officials caving to developers. The time is now to work together to make this happen for our veterans.