Control of local cities and public schools will be up for grabs in November, as voters pick a host of powerful positions atop local government.
The winners of OC’s local races will control billions of dollars in taxpayer spending, including oversight of the local school system, police, fire departments, parks, libraries and transportation.
Races for two of the most influential posts in Orange County – the mayors of Anaheim and Santa Ana – are wide open, with no incumbents running.
And controlling majorities are up for grabs in several of the county’s biggest cities: Anaheim, Irvine, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach.
In Huntington Beach’s case, no incumbents are running for re-election, meaning the city is set to have a completely different controlling majority come December.
Voice of OC has compiled a list below of everyone who will be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election in OC’s 10 biggest cities by population, and the five school districts with the most students.
This year, there are a lot of open seats throughout Orange County.
Most of Huntington Beach’s city council members are up for election.
In San Clemente, two of the three councilmembers up for re-election are leaving their seats behind, and Councilman Chris Duncan is currently running for State Assembly, which means the city could end up with a brand new majority in the new year if Duncan wins a state seat.
Anaheim voters are set to fill the vacancy left by Mayor Harry Sidhu, who resigned in May after an FBI affidavit came to light alleging corruption.
Federal agents wrote that Sidhu leaked internal city information to the Angels about the sale of Angel Stadium, in the hopes of soliciting a $1 million campaign contribution bribe, which Sidhu denied through his attorney.
There also are two open seats on the council, with Councilman Jose Moreno termed out and Councilman Trevor O’Neil running for mayor, leaving his seat on the dais up for grabs. Gloria Ma’ae, who was appointed to the District 2 seat last year, is also running to keep her seat.
Santa Ana residents are guaranteed a new mayor in the upcoming election, as outgoing Mayor Vicente Sarmiento opted to run for county supervisor. Five candidates are running for the mayor’s seat.
Irvine has a much smaller field of council candidates this year than in the 2020 election, with six candidates running for two City Council seats. Each one of those seats have incumbents running for re-election.
Mayor Farrah Khan is running for reelection against four other candidates, none of whom have backing from any of the county’s political parties.
Mission Viejo is among the cities implementing district elections for the first time this year, putting all of its council members on the ballot.
Regardless of how the vote comes out, residents are guaranteed at least one new councilmember because Councilmen Greg Raths and Ed Sachs are running against each other in the city’s 3rd District.
This will be the first time since 2016 the city has seen any change on the dais, with incumbents winning every election since then.
Former state senator John Moorlach – one of Orange County’s longest-serving politicians – is running for Costa Mesa mayor after he lost his state Senate seat to Dave Min in 2020 and came up short to Katrina Foley in a special election for county supervisor last year.
Moorlach tried to run for county auditor-controller in June, but did not file to run for the office amid doubts about his eligibility due to a lapse in his accounting license.
Jodi Balma, a political science professor at Fullerton College, noted Moorlach was challenging incumbent Mayor John Stephens, who was appointed to the position.
“[Moorlach’s] name recognition will help him,” she said.
“It’s going to be quite a campaign for that position.”
Balma also noted there’s an organized effort to elect conservatives to local school boards, but no similar effort on the left.
And Fullerton Joint Union High School District Marilyn Buchi, who has been on the school board for 39 years, is running unopposed for re-election in November, Balma added.
Who’s Running for the Major City & School Board Seats
It’s not always easy to see who all is running for election – with voters currently having to check multiple separate lists maintained by various cities and the county Registrar of Voters.
Voice of OC is trying to make it easier to follow, combining the candidate info into one list.
Below is a rundown of everyone who will appear on the November ballot in the 10 largest cities and five largest school districts in Orange County.
The descriptions of each candidate are their official ballot designation each submitted to appear on the ballot. Some of these titles could change if they’re challenged and county Registrar of Voters Bob Page or a judge rules that the law requires a different title.
Usually, some of those descriptions are changed after a legal battle filed by the candidate’s opponents, and the county registrar has already received several challenges for races they oversee. Arguments over city candidate titles are decided by each city clerk.
Ashleigh Aitken, Consumer Advocate/Businesswoman
Lorri Galloway, Non-Profit Executive Director
Dick Lopez, Water Systems Operator
Trevor O’Neil, Mayor Pro-Tem
Anaheim City Council, District 2
Carlos Leon, Business Development Manager
Gloria Ma’Ae, Appointed City Councilmember
Anaheim City Council, District 3
Al Jabbar, Anaheim Union High School District Governing Board Member
Natalie Rubalcava, Anaheim Commissioner/Businesswoman
Anaheim City Council, District 6
Hari Shankar Lal, Consumer Advocate Lawyer
Natalie Meeks, Anaheim City Commissioner
Tom Chomyn, Technology Account Executive
Katherine Daigle, Journalist/Author
Farrah N. Khan, Irvine Mayor
Branda Lin, Paralegal/mother
Simon Moon, Military Officer/Pastor
Irvine City Council
Larry Agran, Irvine City Councilmember
Scott Hansen, City of Irvine Commissioner/Technologist
Anthony Kuo, Vice Mayor
John Park, Irvine Commissioner/Businessman
Navid Sadigh, College Student
Kathleen Treseder, Educator/Climate Scientist
Santa Ana Mayor
Valerie Amezcua, Santa Ana Unified School Board Member
Jesse Nestor, College Student/Server
Jose Solorio, Businessman/Education Advocate
Sal Tinajero, Teacher/College Trustee
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 2
Nelida Mendoza, Santa Ana Councilmember/Educator
Benjamin Vazquez, Teacher
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 4
Phil Bacerra, Santa Ana City Councilmember
Amalia Mejia, Teacher/Researcher
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 6
Manny Escamilla, City Planner
David Penaloza, Santa Ana City Councilmemberr
Fullerton City Council, District 3
Dr. Shana Charles, Public Health Professional
Arnel Dino, Businessman/Planning Commissioner
John Lewis Ybarra, Businessman/Parent
Fullerton City Council, District 5
Ahmad Zahra, Fullerton City Councilmember
Oscar Valadez, Superintendent/Commissioner
Tony Castro, Digital Media Artist
Mark A. Murphy, Mayor of Orange/Businessman
Dan Slater, Real Estate Broker/Business Owner
Orange City Council, District 1
Arianna Barrios, Councilmember District 1/Businessowner
Jason White, Contract Specialist
Orange City Council, District 3
Kathy Tavoularis, District 3 Appointed Councilwoman
John Russo, Blank
Orange City Council, District 4
Christopher Horton, Blank
Denis Bilodeau, Blank
John Newman, Assistant Manager
Orange City Council, District 6
Brian Harrington, Supply Chain Leader
Adrienne Gladson, Principal Planner
John Gyllenhammer, Blank
Huntington Beach City Council
Bobby Britton, Entrepreneur
Brian Burley, Huntington Beach Business Owner
Patrick J. Burns, Retired Police Officer
Gina Clayton-Tarvin, Ocean View School District Governing Board Member
David Clifford, Transportation Executive/Businessowner
Vera Fair, Project Manager
Jeffrey K. Hansler, Organizational Development Consultant
Amory Hanson, Historic Resources Boardman
Jill S. Hardy, Teacher
Kenneth K. Inouye, Retired CPA
Casey McKeon, Businessowner/Finance Commissioner
William O’Connell, Retired Deputy Sheriff
Robert Reider, Senior Business Consultant
Oscar Rodriguez, Asset Manager/Commissioner
Tony Strickland, Businessowner/Huntington Beach Commissioner
Gabrielle D. Samiy, Student
Gracey Van Der Mark, Business Owner
Mike Vogler, Attorney
Emil “Jinx” Varona, Retired
Huntington Beach City Attorney
Scott F. Field, City of Huntington Beach Deputy Attorney
Michael Gates, City Attorney of Huntington Beach
Garden Grove Mayor
Steve Jones, Mayor of Garden Grove
Garden Grove City Council, District 1
Allen Rodriguez, Family Physician
George S. Brietigam, Councilman/LAPD Sergeant
Garden Grove City Council, District 3
Asia Nguyen Cunningham, CEO/Business Owner
Cindy Tran, Business Owner/Teacher
Gia Le Nguyen, Business Owner
James Webb, EMT/First Responder
Laurie Merrick, Business Analysis Manager
Garden Grove City Council, District 4
Duy Nguyen, Commercial Financial Consultant
Joe Dovinh, Business Owner
Trung Van Ta, Retired
Costa Mesa Mayor
John Stephens, Mayor/Attorney
John M.W. Moorlach, Municipal Finance Writer
Costa Mesa City Council, District 3
Andrea Marr, Mayor Pro Tem
Jorge Miron, Patient Care Advocate
John Thomas Patton, Financial Advisor
Costa Mesa City Council, District 4
Manuel Chavez, Councilmember/Field Representative
Costa Mesa City Council, District 5
Arlis Reynolds, Councilwoman/Engineer
Robert Dickson, Senior Paralegal
Mission Viejo City Council, District 1
Deborah Cunningham-Skurnik, Small Businessowner
Robert “Bob” Ruesch, Mission Viejo Planning Commissioner
Linda Shepard, Businesswoman/Mother
Mission Viejo City Council, District 2
Brian Goodell, City Council Member/Business Owner
Stacy Holmes, Retired Educator
Mission Viejo City Council, District 3
Greg Raths, Councilman/Retired USMC
Ed Sachs, Mayor Pro-Tem/Business Owner
Cynthia Vasquez, Small Business Owner
Mission Viejo City Council, District 4
Terri Aprati, Corporate Paralegal/Notary
Patricia “Trish” Kelley, Mission Viejo Councilmember/Businesswoman
Mission Viejo City Council, District 5
Wendy Bucknam, Mayor/Businesswoman
Jon Miller, Supply Chain Consultant
Moses F. Castillo, Retired Detective Supervisor
Tai Do, Councilman/Police Officer
Kimberly Ho, Councilmember City of Westminster/Businesswoman
Chi Charlie Nguyen, Councilman/Business Owner
Westminster City Council, District 1
John Gentile, Business Owner
Amy West, Westminster Small Businesswoman
Westminster City Council, District 4
NamQuan Nguyen, Engineer/Business Owner
Teri Vu Nguyen, Planning Commissioner, Businesswoman
Jimmy D. Pham, Attorney at Law
Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area #2
Kira Davis, Small Business Owner
Jessica Hubbard, Education Nonprofit Executive
Michael Parham, Parent/Businessman/CPA
Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area #4
James (Jim) Glantz, Education Consultant/Businessman
Darin Patel, Software Developer
Gary Pritchard, Community College Dean
Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area #6
Gila Jones, Capistrano Unified School District School Board Member
Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area #6
Judy Bullockus, Incumbent
Jeanette Contreras, Library Director
Santa Ana Unified School District, Trustee Area #4
Katelyn Brazer Aceves, Family Community Liaison
Sylvia Iglesias, Parent/Administrative Manager
Andrew Linares, Attorney/Parent
Santa Ana Unified School District, Trustee Area #5
Hector Bustos, Youth Nonprofit Director
Garden Grove Unified School District, Trustee Area #2
Lan Quoc Nguyen, Garden Grove Unified School District Governing Board Member
Mark Anthony Paredes, Healthcare Engagement Manager
Nicole Jaimes, Parent
Garden Grove Unified School District, Trustee Area #4
Bob Harden, Garden Grove Unified School District Governing Board Member
Irvine Unified School District, Trustee Area #2
Marlene Bronson, Parent/Server
Debra Hilton Kamm, Parent
Katie Mcewen, Parent/Teacher
Irvine Unified School District, Trustee Area #4
Jeff Kim, Parent/Teacher
Anaheim Union High School District, Trustee Area #1
Jessica Guerrero, Education Policy Advisor
Linda Martinez, Parent
Billie Joe Wright, High School Teacher
Anaheim Union High School District, Trustee Area #2
Annemarie Randle-Trejo, Anaheim Union High School District Governing Board Member
Anaheim Union High School District, Trustee Area #5
Anna L. Piercy, Anaheim Union High School District Governing Board Member
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