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Thornburn drops out of Supervisor’s Race

Andy Thornburn

Former CD-39 candidate Andy Thornburn has dropped out of the special election for Todd Spitzer’s Third District County Supervisor’s race, surrendering the sole Democratic race for former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.  He announced this on the last weekend of the year (and technical issues with our WordPress update and webhosting migration prevented us from breaking this news).

Here’s what he posted on Facebook:

Here’s what he posted on Facebook:  Andy Thorburn December 29, 2018 at 3:05 PM · … I am announcing my withdrawal from the special election campaign for Orange County Supervisor. I got into this race to address Orange County’s serious problems, from housing and homeless services, to public safety, to transportation, to healthcare – and I still care deeply about these issues. However, I believe that it is essential we have a Democrat on the Board of Supervisors who will fight for these priorities, and that if Loretta Sanchez and myself both run for this office, the likelihood is that neither of us will win and a Republican will prevail. Most importantly, I’d like to thank all those who joined our campaign – from Orange County’s firefighters to working people to Senator Tom Umberg to Ada Briceno to Dr. Jose Moreno, along with countless others. Your encouragement and unyielding support has meant the world to me. I intend to remain active and civically involved, fighting for the issues that our community cares about, and I wish Loretta Sanchez the best of luck.

Thornburn has been making the rounds, hosting several fundraisers at his Villa Park Mansion last election cycle in an effort to garner support.  And several movers and shakers in the party were openly supporting him, until Sanchez entered the race.

The DPOC issued this announcement on his decision:

DPOC Chair Fran Sdao commends OC Board of Supervisors 3rd District candidate Andy Thorburn for stepping out; Former Congressmember Loretta Sanchez now sole Democrat in the race

Orange, Calif. — Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) Chair Fran Sdao issued a statement today commending Democratic candidate Andy Thorburn for stepping out of the upcoming special election for Orange County Board of Supervisors 3rd District. ”

Andy Thorburn has demonstrated genuine Democratic leadership,” said Sdao. “His decision truly serves the greater good and unites Democrats at a critical juncture. This is a tremendous service in our collective efforts to tackle urgent county issues, such as homelessness and public safety.”

Thorburn released an announcement of his decision on December 29. Former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is currently the sole Democrat openly declared for the Board of Supervisors 3rd District special election. The five-member Orange County Board of Supervisors is responsible for one of the largest county-level budgets in the United States of approximately $6 billion, and oversees critical services for 3.2 million residents.

DPOC is expected to make a formal endorsement for the special election after the close of the filing period. The Orange County Registrar of Voters has not yet released its official schedule for the special election.


Thornburn received tepid applause at the Party’s Holiday party, while Sanchez was there when the doors opened and spent quality time with just about everyone who walked into the room.  The response from the Democrats when Sanchez was recognized was enthusiastic applause. She knows how to work the room.

But I suspect Thornburn’s withdrawl is more a result of devastating opposition research reports stemming from his congressional run.  Business bankruptcies and allegations of tax evasion are something Democrats associates with Donald Trump, not Democratic candidates.  But certain party leaders were willing to overlook Thornburn’s record when it was a race between him or Beth Krom for Supervisor; once Sanchez got into the race and Krom withdrew to endorse Sanchez, it made it much harder for Thornburn to maintain support.

The Republican candidates in the race would have torn Thornburn to bits over his business record.  So for now, it’s a three person race with one Democrat and Republicans Kris Murray and Don Wagner in the fray.

One Comment

  1. Jeffrey Gallagher Jeffrey Gallagher January 5, 2019

    Amazing. A politician who can see the writing on the wall. Moreso, a politician who can overlook their ego to accomplish a bigger objective.

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