“After a hard fought election and the largest turnout to a central committee meeting in years, Orange County Democrats (DPOC) on Monday night elected Henry Vandermeir as their party chairman,” according to the Voice of OC.
While I was hoping that Jeff LeTourneau would win, it is likely that Vandermeir, a paid consultant who also heads up the Democratic Foundation (an organization that raises money to help some Democratic candidates) will do a good job. Vandermeir knows what he is doing and his wife Lori played a key role in helping Sharon Quirk-Silva to get elected to the State Assembly last year, in the 65th District.
You have to wonder though if the Democrats in Irvine will try to suck the DPOC’s attention away to their city, as they try to take back their City Council from the Republicans, in 2014. That would be a mistake for the DPOC, which needs to focus on central and north Orange County. The GOP will be coming after Quirk-Silva and State Senator Lou Correa’s 34th District will be up for grabs too. The GOP has a good shot at both seats.
In fact the leading Republican candidate for the 34th State Senate District is Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who got a free pass last year while a plethora of Democrats whacked each other in the race for the 69th Assembly District, which went eventually to Tom Daly. Why couldn’t one of those Democrats have challenged Nguyen in 2012? Instead she is now loaded and will be a tough candidate to beat in 2014.
Can Vandermeir unite the Democrats and focus them on beating Republicans instead of each other? We’ll see…
As for LeTourneau, don’t count him out yet. Eventually Vandermeir will have to run for re-election. If he doesn’t get results in 2014 the DPOC may opt for a different leader.
By the way, apparently Orange Juice blogger Greg Diamond was also elected by the DPOC last night, to represent them in North Orange County. That should tell you a lot about the composition of the DPOC…