Orange County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly is well-positioned to move on to Sacramento in November, when he is expected to beat the Republican nominee for the 69th Assembly District, Jose Moreno. But who should replace Daly as our Clerk-Recorder?
I thought for awhile that he was grooming his mini-me, Jordan Brandman, to take over. But Brandman quit or was fired and is no longer working for Daly. So who else might be in the running?
Ultimately the Orange County Supervisors will appoint a replacement, but they are all Republicans so does that necessarily exclude Democrats like Brandman? If so then Assemblyman Jose Solorio, who terms out in November, is likewise not in the running to take over for Daly, although I hear he wants the job.
What about Daly’s assistant, Renee Ramirez? I am told that she can’t even figure out how to prepare a budget for her agency, so I can’t see her being a good pick to replace Daly.
I supposed the Supervisors could pick a hack out of a hat, such as lobbyist Matt Cunningham, or his wife Laura (who currently is working as Supervisor Bill Campbell’s Chief of Staff). But will they try that even as their hiring practices come under increasing scrutiny in the wake of the arrest of former Orange County middle manager Carlos Bustamante?
Former O.C. Assistant CEO Alisa Drakodaidis could also cause a lot of trouble if the letter she wrote before going on leave ever gets released to the public. Allegedly she wrote about the Supervisors and their shady hiring practices.
What about Hugh Nguyen? He was the guy who ran former O.C. Clerk-Recorder Gary Granville’s agency – and did a great job.. Nguyen still works for the County as an Assistant to the Supervisors’s Clerk. And he is a Republican, as well as a lifelong resident of Santa Ana.
Plus Nguyen is the only candidate to ever challenge Daly. He ran against Daly back in the June primary, in 2010, garnering over 97,000 votes, according to Smart Voter.
But can Nguyen get enough support from the Supervisors, for an appointment? I guess we’ll find out in November.
Whoever does replace Daly will need to take steps to correct Daly’s awful decisions, including closing the Clerk-Recorder’s needless (and expensive) Fullerton branch office; getting rid of the albatross building in Downtown Santa Ana that Daly spent a fortune to acquire (ostensibly to house O.C. archives that few people have an interest in looking at); and using the Clerk-Recorder’s technology fund to actually fund technological improvements, instead of using it as a personal slush fund (which is what Daly has done with it). And then there is the subject of all the useless under-qualified employees Daly has hired over the years…