Races to Watch—Southern California Edition: Round-Up of Notable Election Results

There is no shortage of election results to scour in the post-election frenzy, but below we present a round-up of notable outcomes in Southern California in Part I of our recap of “Races to Watch.”
Westminster: The city of Westminster has the nation's largest Little Saigon and it has now elected the first Vietnamese American mayor in the entire nation (elected not appointed). Councilman Tri Ta has the honors. Coverage here.

San Clemente: It was a tale of two Bob Bakers in San Clemente, but only one captured a seat on the council. The duel of Bakers left the incumbent Robert “Bob” Baker victorious, as well as Chris Hamm. Future development was a major issue in the race and the Times reports that “Baker accused his opponents of promoting the candidacy of his similarly named opponent as a deliberate attempt to mislead voters.” See coverage here.

Menifee: Scott Mann, a current Menifee Union School District trustee and former council member, was elected mayor ahead of Councilwoman Darcy Kuenzi. Councilwoman Sue Kristjansson was strongly defeated by newcomer Greg August, a retired military pilot. And it appears current council member Wallace Edgerton will hold onto his seat.

Irvine: Republicans are taking control. That’s because Councilman Larry Agran lost his bid to become the city’s next mayor, with Steven Choi taking the seat. Now that Republicans Christina Shea and Lynne Schott are joining Choi on the council, Irvine will have a Republican majority for the first time in 15 years. The days of a left-leaning majority are over, which Councilwoman Beth Krom and Agran will have to get used to. Coverage here.

Oceanside: Voters decided they didn’t want any changes and stuck with the status quo by re-electing incumbents. Mayor Jim Wood sailed to victory and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez was re-elected. Councilman Jack Feller also retained his seat, perhaps to Wood’s disappointment, as he and Sanchez are the voting minority on the council. See our past coverage here.

Anaheim: A big business-friendly majority has stayed in power in Anaheim with the election of Lucille Kring and Jordan Brandman to the council. The two candidates stem from two different slates that received opposing endorsements. Kring was backed by Mayor Tom Tait, and Brandman was backed by former Mayor Curt Pringle. Coverage here.

Santa Ana: Mayor Miguel Pulido will stay in office for his 10th term after being re-elected. But Pulido may not get too comfortable as two candidates from the so-called “Santa Ana Spring” were elected, which means they may push for term limits in order to loosen Pulido’s grip over the city. See here.

Fullerton: There were 12 candidates vying for three open seats, and incumbent Bruce Whitaker was the leading vote-getter. It appears that Jennifer Fitzgerald will also win a seat. And it appears incumbent Travis Kiger will also get the third open seat. Notably, Don Bankhead entered the race after being recalled in June and he finished near the bottom of the list.

Laguna Beach: Incumbents were shown the door after Planning Commissioner Bob Whalen and Steve Dicterow, two newcomers, managed to grab seats from Jane Egly and Verna Rollinger. See more here.

Indian Wells: Compensation has been a big issue in this city and it appears Measure S is on its way to a strong victory. It lowers council pay to $1,000 a month stipend. Mayor Doug Hanson will hold onto his seat and in a very tight race, it appears Ted Mertens and political newcomer Ty Peabody will take the remaining two seats, which means Mayor Pro Tem Bill Powers may not hold onto his seat. See more here.

Riverside: With incumbent Ron Loveridge out of the race for Mayor, there’s a new sheriff in town for the first time in 20 years. Rusty Bailey has defeated opponent Ed Adkison.

Cathedral City: The Desert Sun has described the campaign as filled “with heated candidate forums, nasty Facebook posts and foul language.” The contentious race appears to be bad news for incumbent Mayor Kathy DeRosa, who is trailing Louie “Chip” Yarborough. See more here.

Have results we missed? Share in the comments below.

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