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Irvine may heads towards a special election for vacant City Council seat

Irvine Mayor Christina Shea


Christina Shea is likely to begin her second go-around as Mayor of Irvine after today’s city council meeting and it’s entirely possible the Two Democrat/Two Republican council will be unable to agree on an appointment which means a special election that Shea says will cost $900K.  I think that’s way high.

If the city were to take the November election results as a guidelines for appointment, Carrie O’Malley, a Republican who finished third, would be sworn in.  Democrat Lauren Johnson-Norris is angling for an appointment but there’s no way in hell either Shea nor council member Anthony Kuo will appoint a Democrat.

The DPOC passed a resolution calling for a special election and North Vice Chair Jeff Letourneau declared Johnson-Norris as the party-endorsed candidate who finished third.  She didn’t.  She was forth and Johnson-Norris and Farrah Khan both got the party endorsement because the party suspended the rules on the 60% vote threshold to endorse both women when it was questionable that either would achieve the 60% vote rule.  Letourneau was informed of his mistake but did not correct the record for the party central committee.

In Orange, Betty Valencia was just out of the money and that city council decided on a special election.  In Irvine, a Republican finished third.  In Santa Ana, that city council is working on how to fill that Ward 4 seat after Roman Reyna’s resignation.  While Santa Ana is a slam dunk for a Democrat to be named to the seat, Orange and Irvine are not.  A special election is the way to go.


  1. Scott Hansen Scott Hansen April 8, 2019

    As a Democrat, just my 2 cents. I feel I see it differently. Some years ago, when I was on the Finance Committee of the IUSD, a seat opened on the School Board. A special election would cost the district over $100,000. That was money that would come out of the District’s very tight budget, and ultimately take away from the schools and the kids.

    The Board appointed Ira Glasky. A former mayor then secured enough signatures on a petition for special election. So the District held the special election, Mr. Glasky was easily elected, and District had to adjust its spending to make up the big bill for the election.

    City staff made clear at a recent series of community workshops that the City’s budget is very tight. I’m concerned that the cost of a special election at a few hundred thousand $ will come out of public safety, or contributions to the schools, or traffic reduction, or any of the many critical functions of the City.

    Also, there’s the issue of voter fatigue. We’ve had a general election in November, then a special election for county supervisor. So, a third election within a short period of time? I sense that’s asking too much of voters and the turnout will be thin. If the turnout is especially light, it won’t really reflect the will of the people, in my view.

    Spending lots of money on special elections is a former mayor’s approach when he doesn’t get what he wants. I feel that should not be the City’s approach.

    Also, if Ms. Shea and Mr. Kuo are against appointing a Democrat, I imagine Ms. Fox and Ms. Khan can be against appointing a Republican, right? It will force a compromise, I would expect.

    • Jeffrey Avella Jeffrey Avella April 9, 2019

      Unfortunately, it seems Ms Khan has so far sided with the two arch conservatives on the issues. Disappointing, to say the least.

  2. Bully and a liar Bully and a liar April 10, 2019

    Jeff LeTourneau, get your facts straight. Carrie O’Malley was third place with 19267 votes. Lauren Johnson-Norris was forth place with 17147 votes. Kev Abazajian was fifth place with 16889 (only 258 votes away without the party’s endorsement). You’re a bully and a liar. No surprise you’re trying to oust Kahn any opportunity you get. It’s hard to be around people who know the truth, isn’t it?

  3. Farrah has this Farrah has this April 10, 2019

    If Lauren Johnson Norris and Melissa Fox want a special election, they should finance signature gathers for the petition. So much hate and misinformation being spread about Farrah Khan from the Fox/LeTourneau alliance that its shameful

  4. Khan only level head on council Khan only level head on council April 11, 2019

    Khan was the only one who offered a plausible solution to bridge the divide so they could agree on a process for appointment – a process the city attorney made clear needs to happen before a special election is called short of gathering enough signatures. Lauren Johnson Norris and Melissa Fox and their circle are good at hitting hard and accomplishing nothing. They are a disgrace to the party and behave more like their republican counterparts. Excuse crooked behavior, act shamefully, incite emotions, twist the truth. As if Trump and Fox News weren’t enough.

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