The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) has entered the dogfight 1st Supervisor District election in a big way – it’s spending approaching $100,000 in less than two weeks.
Supervisor Andrew Do is in the fight of his political life, battling for re-election in an unfriendly political year against Santa Ana Michele Martinez – who isn’t running a particularly strong campaign but has been drafting off strong Latino and Democratic voter turn-out. Whether the perennial sleeping giant of California politics awakens or hits the snooze button in November remains to be seen.
The AOCDS has the biggest, most sustainable political warchest in Orange County: it most recent campaign report showed more than $1 million cash-on-hand. The union endorsed Do a few months ago. One question on the minds of political watchers since the June primary has been whether the union would actively participate in the election.
The AOCDS has answered that question pretty definitively since the end of September, spending $85,847.25 as of October 7 on three direct mail pieces supporting Do. Those are huge dollar amounts considering the 1st Supervisor District has the fewest actual voters of the five supervisor districts.
What remains to be seen is how effective the IE effort will be. The AOCDS IE effort on behalf of then-Assemblywoman Pat Bates against free-spending Cassie DeYoung was an important factor in Bates’ 2006 victory in the 5th District. On the other hand, the heavy AOCDS IE campaign in support of Anaheim Councilman Harry Sidhu’s 2010 run in the 4th District actually hurt him: the mail was of uneven quality and Shawn Nelson used the sheer volume against Sidhu by labeling him the “union candidate.”
However, that was in a GOPish district in a strong Republican year. Martinez, a union candidate at the DNA level, would have a hard time using the same tactic against Do – especially in a year where crime and anti-police violence and rioting weigh heavily on voters’ minds.