A year after avoiding a county supervisors’ campaign because he wanted to spend more time with his family, Orange County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly told a crowd of Democratic leaders Wednesday night he wants to go to Sacramento.

Speaking at a private fundraiser at Original Mike’s in downtown Santa Ana, Daly confirmed reports that he was running for the 69th Assembly District seat now held by Democrat Jose Solorio. A formal announcement is coming soon.

Daly, who has been clerk-recorder for the past decade, is a former mayor of Anaheim and former top aide to former county Supervisor Ralph Clark. He enters the Democratic primary as a leading candidate for the seat, which represents Santa Ana, Anaheim and Garden Grove.

He joins labor leader Julio Perez, who has been running for months, and Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who announced last month for the seat.

Going to Sacramento in the current political climate is “a daunting task,” Daly told supporters.

Daly touted an agenda of education, jobs and public safety and also expressed support for expansion of enterprise zones, saying they were job creators. He called himself a common-sense moderate “who would be careful with the public dollar.”

“I want to be a problem solver,” Daly said, criticizing the overly partisan nature of modern-day politics. “They say they need more moderates up in Sacramento. I’ve said, OK, I’ll be there in December.”

On Wednesday, Daly boasted a host of elected officials and party leaders as supporters. Local Democratic Party Chairman Frank Barbaro introduced Daly. Solorio also spoke on his behalf.

Public-safety union officials — Tom Dominguez for the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs and Tony Bedolla from the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association — also stood beside Daly. Anaheim City Council members Gail Eastman and Kris Murray also were in the crowd.

In an interesting acknowledgement to the large Latino voting block in the 69th District, Daly had longtime Santa Ana community activist Rueben Martinez speak on his behalf.

Martinez, winner of a MacArthur Foundation “genius award” and author of children’s books who teaches at Chapman University, spoke highly of Daly, saying he was good to Latinos when he was mayor of Anaheim, appointing many to prominent commissions.

“I’m going to be walking with him,” Martinez said. “I’ll be his translator.”


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