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City council, mayoral races

Thirteen Vietnamese Americans are among hopefuls seeking a variety of posts. Irvine voters face two ballot measures.

October 19, 2008|My-Thuan Tran | Times Staff Writer

In Santa Ana, voters will decide whether to stick with a veteran mayor who has guided the city for nearly 14 years or elect a newcomer to the post. In nearby Irvine, the entire City Council is running for office. Countywide, there are 13 Vietnamese American candidates running for elected office, 10 in Garden Grove and Westminster alone.

In Santa Ana, voters will choose whether to back veteran Mayor Miguel Pulido or challengers Michele Martinez, the first sitting council member to challenge him in a decade; George Collins; and Stanley Fiala.

Residents also will decide whether to reelect council members Carlos Bustamante and Claudia Alvarez. Bustamante is being challenged by Ana Rebecca Valencia-Verdin, Arturo Pedroza and Steve Rocco. Alvarez, who is running for a third term under newly extended term limits, is being taken on by Lisann Martinez. Councilman Vincent Sarmiento, appointed in 2006, is seeking to win his first election in a battle against Jim Walker.

In Westminster and Garden Grove, home to the largest Vietnamese enclave in the country, 10 Vietnamese Americans are running for various offices, four of them for City Council. The high number in this election is a reflection of the growing political influence of Vietnamese Americans in central Orange County.

Westminster could end up with its first Vietnamese-majority council. Mayor Margie Rice is unopposed in her reelection bid.

In Garden Grove, there is a subtext to the council race with Andrew Do, chief of staff to Supervisor Janet Nguyen, facing off against Trung Nguyen, a Garden Grove school board member who ran against Janet Nguyen for supervisor in 2007. The other candidates are Tom Bailor, Tony Flores, Linh Ho, Joshua Leimbach, Paul Lucas, Robin Marcario and Charles Mitchell. Councilman Steve Jones, who was appointed to his seat in 2007, is seeking to win his first election. Voters will choose whether to reelect Mayor Bill Dalton or put newcomer Karentracy Moreland Urda in office.

Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway is up for reelection for the first time since bucking city business leaders by pushing for a housing project in the city's Resort District, a plan that was vigorously opposed by Walt Disney Co. and Mayor Curt Pringle. Also vying for two seats on the council are incumbent Harry Sidhu, Jennifer Rivera, Kostas "Gus" Roditis, Faiz Zuberi, Robert J. Flores, Brian Chuchua, Steve Perez, John Karczynski and Gail Eastman.

A dozen candidates are running for City Council seats in Irvine, including all five incumbents. Most have aligned with one of two opposing slates: one backing Councilwoman Christina Shea for mayor and another supporting Councilman Sukhee Kang, who would become the city's first Korean American mayor if elected.

Voters also will weigh in on two city ballot measures.

Measure R would preserve City Council-approved policies and funding mechanisms for the Orange County Great Park for four years and keep the project under city control. Opponents say the measure would allow the city to dip into tax money in the city's general fund to build the park, which supporters say is false.

Measure S would give city leaders guidelines for withholding personal information in response to requests for public information. Opponents say the city could use it to deny access to important city documents.

Seven hopefuls, including two incumbents, are vying for three seats on the Huntington Beach City Council. Mayor Debbie Cook is termed out this year and is running for a congressional seat. Mayor Pro Tem Keith Bohr and Councilman Don Hansen are both development advocates. City Planning Commissioner Devin Dwyer also supports development.

Other candidates include attorney Allen Baylis, a nudists' rights advocate; 26-year-old technology consultant Dan Kalmick, who opposed Cook in the congressional Democratic primary earlier this year; engineer Bruce J. Brandt; and businessman Erik Charles Eichler.


Times staff writers Tony Barboza, Susannah Rosenblatt and Paloma Esquivel contributed to this report.

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