Hat-tip to the Voice of OC for getting the scoop. They reported Wednesday evening that termed-out State Senator, and former First District County Supervisor Lou Correa will be running in the special election to be held in February or March to complete the remaining two years of Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s term as First District Supervisor after she moves on the the State Senate. Nguyen, who replaced Correa in 2007 after he was elected to the Senate, crushed RSCCD President Jose Solorio by 20 percentage points in Tuesday’s general election to replace Correa as the 34th District Senator. Correa told Voice of OC:
“I work for the community,” Correa said. “I love retail politics,” Correa said adding, “I believe in my office and care deeply about representing my constituents.”
Since 1998, Lou Correa has been representing a significant portion of the First Supervisorial District. He has served three years in the State Assembly, two years as County Supervisor and eight years in the State Senate. The only other candidate who has announced for the seat is Republican Garden Grove Councilman Chris Phan, who was first elected two years ago. In the Voice of OC article Phan is quoted criticizing Correa for only serving two years of his first term as Supervisor.
“I have a lot of respect for the senator — he’s definitely done a great job,” Phan said. “At the same time, if you follow history, he was a supervisor before. I don’t think these seats should be a safe harbor waiting for another opportunity.”
Phan however should have thought about the irony of his comment before he made it. Having been only elected to his council seat two-years ago, the same question could be raised about Phan using his current position as a “safe harbor” and stepping stone for the higher office of Supervisor.
Lou Correa is intensely popular in the first district, not just in the Latino community comprising the majority of Santa Ana. Correa is very popular among Vietnamese voters in the district. Correa also holds a significant advantage in name recognition in the district based on his eighteen years representing much of the district. We are not in any way suggesting that this election will be a cake walk for Correa. Special elections are notoriously even more low turn-out than the one this past Tuesday.
But Correa steps in with significant advantages that should not be dismissed. The wave of Vietnamese voters that swept Janet Nguyen to a 3-vote victory in the 2007 special election, was primarily driven by a heated competition between two strong Vietnamese candidates which drove up turnout of that specific community in a low turnout election. This will be an intense campaign, over a very short period of time. Correa is well known, and Phan is not. Correa has a significant amount of money, $390,000 in other campaign and office holder accounts, much of which that can be transferred to support his campaign for Supervisor. In Comparison, Phan’s initial filing for his Supervisor campaign, shows a $30,000 Loan at the end of June 2014. Any monies he may have raised since then will not be reported until the first filing for the special election.
Read more of the Voice of OC story here.