When I stopped at the Orange County Voter Registrar’s office late today, to turn in my nomination signatures, I ran into Eleazar Elizondo (pictured above) who was also turning in his nomination signatures. He brought his twelve year old son with him. We had a nice chat, having not met before, and then the lady behind the counter asked Eleazar how he was going to pay for his candidate’s statement. He reached into the pocket of his USC running suit and pulled out a huge wad of one hundred dollar bills. It was pretty impressive.
It turned out that Elizondo didn’t have any change, just a bunch of big bills – and he needed two dollars to settle his account. Well, I couldn’t let a brother down, so I reached into my own meager supply of money and handed him two dollars, effectively making me his first campaign contributor. Well, I couldn’t leave the guy hanging, could I?
Elizondo is a good guy and he is, as I am, a family man. We are both involved in Santa Ana Little Leagues, he in the south and me in the north. But our politics aren’t exactly on the same page.
Robert Hammond, a hard right Republican who is focusing his campaign on gay-bashing, also showed up at about the same time, with his own nomination papers. I overheard him insisting that his ballot designation should be “Orange County Teacher,” and apparently he got his way.
A fourth candidate, Ken Nguyen, had previously turned in his own nomination signatures. I don’t know if Anita Mathur turned in her own nomination signatures. If she did that will be interesting as she would be the only woman candidate.
My signatures qualified – a big thank you to my friends from the Little League over at Alona Park. I did not buy a candidate’s statement. Quite frankly, even if I had three grand lying around, I doubt my wife would let me spend it that way!
The voters are going to have clear choices in this campaign, from a range of candidates who are all over the political map. I put together a graphic to depict this range in a way that is easy to grasp – the color scheme makes use of Republican red and Democratic blue:
As you can see, we have candidates on the extreme left, in Elizondo, and right, in Hammond. Nguyen is center left, and I am center right. The voters will have a clear choice in this election.
Three of us have backgrounds in education. Nguyen does not. But if he can wrap up the Vietnamese vote, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Elizondo and I are the only candidates with kids who are still in grade school. Nguyen and Hammond appear to be grandpas. Again, clear choices for the voters. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?
While this is a non-partisan seat it is also worth noting that we all belong to different parties. Elizondo and Nguyen are Democrats, I am a Libertarian and Hammond is a Republican.
The one area where there is little choice is in geography. All of us hail from Santa Ana. There are no candidates from Fountain Valley or from Garden Grove, which are also part of the First Area.