By Todd Spitzer
For only the third time in the last 100 years, a majority of seats on the Board of Supervisors will turn over in a three-month span. Supervisors Todd Spitzer of Orange and Shawn Nelson of Fullerton will be the only current Supervisors still remaining on the Board. This will also be the first transition governed by the rules under Measure G, which passed Tuesday.
Supervisors John Moorlach of Costa Mesa and Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel are termed out. Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel of Surfside was elected to succeed Moorlach while Mayor Lisa Bartlett of Dana Point was elected to succeed Bates. Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) was elected to the State Senate to succeed Mark Wyland (R-Solana Beach).
Supervisor Janet Nguyen of (R-Garden Grove) will vacate her seat on the Board after being elected to succeed Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) in the State Senate, but Nguyen’s Supervisorial term will not expire until January 2017, so a special election will be held in early 2015 to fill her remaining term.
“I congratulate Supervisors Nguyen and Bates on their elections to the State Senate, and I will miss having them and Supervisor Moorlach on the Board,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I look forward to having Supervisors-Elect Steel and Bartlett on the Board, along with whoever will win the First District special election.”
Below is the timeline of the Board transition:
- Following the resignation of Supervisor Nguyen, the Board of Supervisors would have 3 days to call a special election (which would have to take place not less than 56 days nor more than 70 days after the vacancy occurs).
- The person receiving the highest number of votes would fill the vacancy (with no run-off).
- Candidate filing would start the next business day after the call of the election at 8:00 AM and candidate filing would end no later than 5:00 PM on the 43rd day prior to the election.
- December 1: Supervisors Bates and Nguyen sworn in as State Senators; Mayor Bartlett sworn in to succeed Bates five weeks early (had Measure G not passed, Bartlett could not be sworn in on December 1)
- January 5: Supervisor Moorlach terms out; Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel sworn in to succeed Moorlach
Voters Replace County Assessor
Late January/Early February: Special election to fill the two-month long vacancy in the First District seat previously held by now-Senator Nguyen
For only the second time in the last half-century, a challenger unseated a sitting Countywide elected officeholder. By a 53%-47% margin, Orange County voters elected former Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish as Assessor over incumbent Assessor Webster Guillory. Guillory had previously defeated Parrish four years ago by that same 53%-47% margin. Guillory had been first elected Assessor in 1998.
“I congratulate Assessor-Elect Parrish on his election, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of the people of Orange County,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “I thank Assessor Guillory for his years of service to the people of Orange County, and I will miss working with him.”
For the first time in sixteen years, multiple new Countywide officeholders will be sworn in to office simultaneously. In addition to Assessor-Elect Claude Parrish succeeding Webster Guillory, Auditor-Controller-Elect Eric Woolery will succeed Jan Grimes, who opted not to run for the seat in this year’s elections. Parrish and Woolery will be sworn in on January 5.
Including Parrish and Woolery, this will mark five new Countywide officeholders in the last four years, after Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen took office in 2013, Superintendent of Schools Al Mijares took office in 2012, and Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Freidenrich took office in 2011.
The only other time in the last half-century in which a sitting Countywide officeholder was defeated for re-election was in 1990, when John F. Dean defeated Superintendent Robert Peterson’s bid for a seventh four-year term.