Reiff: Lawyer Ashleigh Aitken Planning Run for Anaheim Mayor (not for DA)

Trial lawyer Ashleigh Aitken, daughter of one of Orange County’s most influential Democrats, is planning to run for mayor of Anaheim next year.

The disclosure was made by Ashleigh’s father, Wylie Aitken, at a taping of the “Inside OC with Rick Reiff” public affairs program.

“She’s a proud citizen of Anaheim, she has been very involved in Anaheim city issues, and she’ll be shortly opening up a committee to run for mayor,” Wylie Aitken said.

Current Mayor Tom Tait, a Republican, is term-limited out in 2018.

Wylie Aitken said Ashleigh, a former federal prosecutor and past president of the Orange County Bar Association, has also been approached “by numerous people” about running for the embattled county district attorney’s office next year. That race has been shaping up as a battle royal between two established, but also controversial, Republicans, incumbent DA Tony Rackauckas and county supervisor Todd Spitzer.

But Wylie said Ashleigh’s “real focus” is the mayor’s race.

Ashleigh Aitken, 41, has been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party. Retired Orange County Employees Association head Nick Berardino has referred to her as a “future governor of California.”

She is an attorney, along with her father, husband and two brothers, in the family law firm, Aitken Aitken Cohn. She has three daughters. Ashleigh is a director and former chair of the Orange County Fair Board.

Wylie Aitken mentioned Ashleigh’s planned run at the end of a show focusing on his career as a prominent trial lawyer, community leader, philanthropist and Democratic Party power broker in Republican-dominated Orange County.

He and wife Bette were at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel in 1968 when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. His political beneficiaries have included former OC Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

Drawing a parallel to the primary hurdles faced by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Wylie Aitken criticized the Democratic Party “establishment” for actively working against Sanchez in her losing U.S. Senate campaign against fellow Democrat Kamala Harris last year. He singled out Emily’s List, a women’s rights advocate, for contributing funds and running ads on behalf of Harris, even though both candidates were identically pro-choice.

Wylie Aitken said Republicans used to have such an iron grip on the county that people would whisper to him that they were Democrats: “All those whispers have turned to action. It’s okay, it’s okay to be a Democrat.” Citing OC’s demographic and voter-registration trends, he predicted, “We will become a Democratic county.”

(Disclosure: Wylie Aitken is board chairman of the Voice of OC.)

The “Inside OC” interview will begin airing Sunday on KDOC, PBS SoCal and Cox. All show times are here (

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at

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  • LFOldTimer

    Oh, so now you’re going to play the sexist card because a woman was called a ‘gal’? ha. So I guess it’s sexist to call the man a “guy” too, eh? Political correctness in California has gone wild.

    Could you name one major Anaheim civic issue where Ashleigh took a leading role? I’m willing to learn.

    I see that she has held some appointed positions and is a lawyer. Still, what are her qualifications to jump to the head of the class and become mayor of a major US city, specifically Anaheim?

    Has she ever sat on a city council before? Has she ever sat on an appointed city committee that reports to a city council before? Has she ever held an elected position? Has she ever managed a municipal budget before? Has she ever worked on salary in municipal government before? Most mayors would probably fall into one of those broad categories.

    I reiterate. Ashleigh might make a fantastic mayor. That’s a possibility. And if she runs I guess it will be up to the voters to decide whether she’s suited for the job. In the meantime people are curious and have questions.

    When her powerful dad tells us that she’s going to run for Mayor of Anaheim on a public affairs program – I take him at his word – and that opens up the topic for a myriad of questions.

    That’s the way a democracy works, Ked.

    No reason to act offended.

    And pray tell, how are you related or associated to Ashleigh and what motivated you to be her spokesperson? Just curious.

    Thank you.

    • justanon

      Ha, ha, ha … what a complete and total hypocrite you are.

      Such scrutiny and high standards for a potential mayor of Anaheim (even though any quick google search can verify that she’s more than ‘qualified’) and yet for POTUS you embraced a lying, incompetent, ignorant buffoon who had a sketchy past filled with dirty dealings and bankruptcies.

      Way to ‘hold the line’, lol!!!

      And then there’s this nonsense:

      “And pray tell, how are you related to or associated with Ashleigh and what motivated you to be her spokesperson? Just curious.”

      I wonder since you supported trump and have been quite outspoken about him, are you related to the traitor-in-chief or are you just a Russian spy?

      • LFOldTimer

        Claptrap on Ignore.

        Nothing follows………….

        • justanon

          FYI: responding kind of deep-sixes that whole “ignore” thing. LOL!!!

          • LFOldTimer

            Claptrap on ignore.

            Nothing follows………..

      • verifiedsane

        The resident communist/anarchist attack goldfish maybe commenting, but because they are being ignored, no one is reading their spew or really cares…. 🙂

        • justanon

          Oooh, the VOC resident red-baiter weighs in.
          Did you check under your bed for commies this morning lil’ Joey McCarthy? Remember, it’s never too early for paranoia, lol!

  • Nogoodhound

    I hope she has half of a million dollars laying around, to go up against Disney’s pick which I think will be Stephan Faessel.

  • LFOldTimer

    Where are all the regular Anaheim politics commenters?

  • LFOldTimer

    I can only imagine the closed door negotiations between Spitzer and potential hopeful DA candidates to keep them out of the race. No competition is good competition. If he can limit the choices between himself and Rackauckas (another version of Dracula vs. Frankenstein) no doubt he believes he can wrap it up.

    I have no idea who this Aitken gal is other than she has a powerful father with connections. What has SHE done? So she’s part of her father’s law firm? So what? Again, what has SHE accomplished?

    Is this sort of like Chelsea Clinton entering politics?

    Again, so what? What has she done to earn the Mayor’s seat in Anaheim?

    Anybody know?

    I’m willing to learn.

    • Sam

      Never been at a city council meeting and never spoken out on any issues.
      sounds like just the wife or daughter of some important geek running for office.

      • LFOldTimer

        In the back of my mind I wonder where Ashleigh would be today if her last name wasn’t Aitken?

        But she might make a fantastic mayor. Who knows? I just don’t know what qualifies her for such a job. Has she ever held a political office? Why does she think she’s good enough to jump to the head of the class and be a Mayor? Why not be a council woman first and work her way up the ladder?

        Her dad says she’s been very active in Anaheim city issues. What issues? I’ve never read her name mentioned in the media as an activist in Anaheim city issues. Again, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been. I just want to know what she’s done. Fair question.

        “His political beneficiaries have included former OC Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.”

        If that’s true I know I would never vote for Wylie Aitken. But I won’t hold that against his daughter. She just might be just what Anaheim needs for all I know.

        It would be nice to get a little more detail to demonstrate her qualifications to be Mayor of Anaheim.

        • justanon

          You have a lot of nerve calling out privilege, when you supported the poster child of privilege, d. j. trump for POTUS.
          Yeah, Anaheim’s mayor needs to show proof of competency for the job, but POTUS, nah, you just needed his racist bonafides to support his incompetent, ignorant, traitorous a**, lol!!!!

          • verifiedsane

            More worthless Communist/anarchist propaganda to IGNORE…. 🙂

      • justanon

        She has a pretty impressive resume, especially in leadership positions and seems to have a lot of community involvement.

        “The Orange County Attorney Journal has named Ashleigh Aitken the February 2015 Attorney of the Month. This prestigious honor comes just one month after Aitken was named President of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA). Her other leadership positions include Chairwoman of the 32nd District Agricultural Association, Girl Scouts of Orange County Troop Leader, active member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, past president of Orange County Woman Lawyers, past vice-president of the Celtic Bar Association, and past Chairwoman of Anaheim’s Community Services Board.”

      • justanon

        Disqus repost, my bad.

    • justanon

      ” sort of like Chelsea Clinton entering politics riding on the coattails of Bill and Hillary or Caroline Kennedy riding on the coattails of John and Jackie?”

      No need for these WHAT IF examples, when we have a WHAT IS example in the White House right now, with Jared and Ivanka.
      What qualifies those two nitwits to advise a POTUS and weigh in on matters of National Security? Nothing, other than the fact that they are related to the POTUS and the POTUS himself is a nitwit.

      • verifiedsane