There are already a slew of Republicans vying to replace U.S. Representative John Campbell in Orange County’s 45th Congressional District, but what about the Democrats? Should they just concede the seat to the GOP or should they make a fight of it?
Even if they cannot hope to prevail, and historically they have done very poorly against Campbell, all of the candidates will have to deal with the Open Primary, which will keep third party candidates out of the general election. That could help a Democratic candidate to pick up Decline to State and third party votes in the General Election.
So which Democrat should run? I suppose they could trot out the usual suspects, Irvine Council Members Beth Krom and Larry Agran, but they have egg on their faces due to their brutal mishandling of the Orange County Great Park’s finances. Other possible Democratic candidates in Irvine would include attorneys Steve Young and Melissa Fox and former Irvine Councilman Sukhee Kang. But I think they would have a better shot at a local office, such as a school board or the Irvine City Council.
What about new blood? The 45th Congressional District includes these cities:
- City of Irvine
- City of Tustin
- City of Laguna Woods
- City of Laguna Hills
- City of Lake Forest
- City of Villa Park
- City of Mission Viejo
- City of Rancho Santa Margarita
- City of Anaheim (partial)
- City of Orange (partial)
Prominent Democrats serving in local elected offices in those cities include:
- Teresa “Tita” Smith, Orange City Council
- Jordan Brandman, Anaheim City Council
- Kathryn McCullough, Lake Forest City Council
And remember that you can run for Congress as a carpetbagger, so Phil Tsunoda, from the Aliso Viejo Council, could also run for the 45th.
When you consider how corrupt many South Orange County Republicans are – particularly with regard to backing irresponsible development, the Democrats would at least be able to run on that issue. Of course many of them are equally compromised. But one of them has a shot at using the bully pulpit to advance actual progressive causes. Who will step up? Or is it just not worth the effort? Be sure to vote in our poll above and let your voice be heard!