Moorlach Hinting at the Winding Down of His Public Life

Former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach looks to be heading to the state Senate.

Former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach looks to be heading to the state Senate.

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Today could mark the official beginning of the end for John Moorlach as county supervisor.

Yet whether that name tag is replaced with county auditor-controller or assemblyman won’t be known for certain until the end of business Wednesday, the filing deadline for candidates seeking any of three higher elected offices where an incumbent didn’t file for reelection.

If he doesn’t file for office, the man who was largely credited for predicting the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy will leave public life in less than a year.

“I let you know at 5 tomorrow,” said Moorlach during a Tuesday night interview.

Moorlach announced earlier this week that he was pulling out of his bid to represent the 45th Congressional District, saying he was having a tough time balancing fundraising and the responsibilities of being a county supervisor.

Given that most of Orange County’s GOP influence leaders, such as the New Majority, were entirely behind Moorlach’s opponent, state Sen. Mimi Walters, financing a traditional competing campaign didn’t seem feasible, Moorlach concluded.

Moorlach seemed a bit deflated late Tuesday, voicing interest in a return to private life after more than two decades in the public policy limelight.

However, he also left open a seemingly small door to public life.

“I’ve gotten several calls that I should jump into the 74th Assembly race. I’ve been pushed by a few people to jump into the auditor race. But when I pulled out of the congressional race, I said it’s Congress or nothing,” Moorlach said.

Moorlach even hinted that a guerrilla congressional campaign — a tea party-type call-’em-as-you-see-’em effort against the party bosses, run through Facebook and free media — is possible.

Yet he doesn’t see it happening.

“My wife would have to wake up in the middle of the night and say do that,” Moorlach said of any last-minute change of heart to run for the three elected seats that offer him a chance to continue life as an elected official.

“By 5 you’ll know,” Moorlach said, “but I’m not expecting to do anything crazy. I’m expecting to wind down.”

“What’s nice to know is that there’s lots of people who want to see me stay in office,” he said, “and that’s a nice affirmation.”

Please contact Norberto Santana Jr. directly at nsantana@voiceofoc.org and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/norbertosanana.

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