If the Republican Party is to somehow regain a foothold in California then the party is going to have to start winning legislative races. Redistricting has created a few opportunities in legislative districts that now lean purple, such as Orange County’s 32nd and 34th State Senate Districts.
While the OC GOP’s cupboard is fairly bare of Latino candidates for the 34th State Senate District, two of them have emerged for the 32nd State Senate District, which includes part of Orange County’s City of Buena Park – Downey Mayor Mario Guerra and businessman Noel A. Jaimes.
Here are the rest of the candidates thought to be running for the 32nd State Senate District:
- Sally Havice (Democrat) – Former Member, State Assembly
- Tony Mendoza (Democrat) – Former Member, State Assembly
- Noel A. Jaimes (Republican) – Businessman
- Dr. Sandra Salazar (Democrat) – Trustee, Cerritos CCD
- Tom Calderon (Democrat) – Former Member, State Assembly
- Kevin Perez-Allen (Democrat) – Non-Profit Executive/Community Activist
- Jay Chen (Democrat) – Member, Hacienda La Puente USD
- Mario Guerra (Republican) – Councilmember, Downey
Cities in CA State Senate 32:
- East La Mirada
- Hacienda Heights
- Hawaiian Gardens
- La Habra Heights
- La Mirada
- Pico Rivera
- Santa Fe Springs
- South Whittier
- West Whittier – Los Nietos
- Buena Park
Guerra, who emphasizes that he is on the moderate side of the GOP, is a successful small business owner, having co-founded Scanlon-Guerra-Burke. Today, operating as SGB-NIA, his partner firm is one of the largest insurance brokers in California.
Guerra was not a fan of the term-limits law that will evict him from his city council office in Downey in 2014. In fact, early in his first term Guerra led a movement by Downey council members to overturn the law voters passed in 1993—the one establishing a firm two-term limit that prohibited officeholders from ever again, according to Greater Long Beach, which also reported that:
At Guerra’s suggestion, Downey council members created a ballot proposition—Measure G—that would have extended the office-holding limits to three consecutive terms (12 years), after which council members could sit out a term and then run again.
Voters responded to Guerra’s plan on Feb. 2, 2008, by going to the polls and crushing it. Measure G was rejected on 67.04 percent of cast ballots.
Noel A. Jaimes is a 35+ year resident and local businessman that believes in “Honest, Responsive Government,” according to his Facebook page. He ran unsuccessfully for an Assembly seat last year, garnering over 49,000 votes according to Smart Voter.
Former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, a Democrat, has collected $52,428 in campaign contributions for the 32nd District so far this year, according to the Downey Patriot. Financial reports also show that Mendoza’s 2014 committee made a $66,000 loan to his failed campaign for Central Basin Water District last November.
Elected to the 56th Assembly district in 2006, Mendoza served three consecutive terms in the state Assembly until he was termed out in 2012. Prior to his career in Sacramento, Mendoza served three terms on the Artesia City Council, where he became the youngest mayor at age 26.
Tom Calderon is one of three brothers who form a powerful political machine in the San Gabriel Valley and southeast cities. Charles (Chuck) Calderon has served for 22 years in either the state assembly or senate and is currently the assemblyman from the 58thAD. The youngest brother, Ron Calderon, is now a state senator (30th SD); he has served in the state assembly or senate for the last ten years, according to Central Basin Corruption.
Tom Calderon has the shortest public political resume of the three; from 1998 to 2002 he was a state assemblyman. In 2002, he took a big leap for an official with so little experience and ran for state Insurance Commissioner, coming in a weak third in the Democratic primary. Afterwards Calderon returned to his career as a secretive, political wire-puller with a number of clients with special interests.
Sally Havice, who won a seat representing the 56th Assembly district in 2000, is now a professor of English at Cerritos College. However, Havice, the only female in the race, has launched “Havice for Senate 2014” and held her first campaign fundraiser last weekend in Bellflower.
Non-Profit Executive Kevin Perѐz-Allen has also decided to run in the newly created 32nd District. He is a Democrat with past experience working in the State Legislature, according to Los Cerritos News.
Dr. Sandra Salazar is a member of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees. She is also a family physician.
Nearly 49 percent of the district’s voters are registered with the Democratic Party. The best a Republican could hope for would be to make the Top Two in the Open Primary. Winning the General Election would only be possible of the Republican were to pick up independent votes, third party votes, and a few crossover Democratic voters.
The Primary Election is set for June 3, 2014.