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.

Read: Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu Resigns After FBI Reveals Anaheim Corruption Probe

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.

[Click here to see the county, state and Congressional candidates who will appear on the November ballot.]

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.

Anaheim Mayor

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 

Irvine Mayor 

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 

Orange Mayor 

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 

Westminster Mayor 

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

School Districts 

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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