Endorsements Roll in for Santa Ana and Anaheim Council Candidates

Two interesting endorsements for city council races came across the wire Thursday.

Santa Ana mayoral candidate David Benavides announced on his Facebook page that the Santa Ana Police Officers Association is backing his candidacy. It’s the “first time in recent history” that the association has endorsed someone other than incumbent Mayor Miguel Pulido, Benavides stated.

This is the second time in as many weeks that Benavides captured an endorsement that has traditionally gone to Pulido. Last week, Benavides obtained the Orange County Democratic Party endorsement after Pulido withdrew his request for the party’s backing.

Benavides, a Santa Ana city councilman, is trying to unseat the 18-year incumbent as part of a full-scale rebellion by the council majority against Pulido. They argue that Pulido’s control over the city bureaucracy is undemocratic and anti-business.

“The momentum continues!” Benavides wrote.

Anaheim Endorsements

Anaheim City Council candidate John Leos announced that Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim) has endorsed his candidacy. But at the same time, the termed-out state legislator is endorsing Jordan Brandman.

Brandman and Leos are nearly polar opposites on many of the city’s most contentious issues, like hotel tax subsidies and moving to council district elections. 

“I think it’s important to not have rubber stamps on these types of governing boards, so if individuals have good common sense and care for the community, I appreciate that they have independent thoughts,” Solorio said in explaining why he would back conflicting candidates.

“I think that adds to the diversity of the debate, and better solutions come about when people have different ideas about moving the community forward,” he said.

Leos and Brandman are two of nine candidates vying for two City Council seats vacated by council members Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway, both of whom are termed out. Leos, a Republican and former labor leader, is backed by Mayor Tom Tait and the county employees union. Brandman is supported by former Mayor Curt Pringle and the city’s business establishment.