Fran Sdao Elected New Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County

OC Democrats tonight elected Fran Sdao to succeed retiring Henry Vandemeir as chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County. Sdao, a Mission Viejo resident, is the party’s South County Vice Chair.

Sdao helped spear-head a teachers union effort to re-capture the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees from “a group of extremely conservative education reformers.” The effort was notorious for its intense harassment of conservative trustees – even outside of official board meetings. Among the candidates Sdao backed for the CUSD Board was an 18-year old who had just graduated from high school.

The result is the current CUSD Board that tried(and failed) to obtain voter approval of a billion-dollar school bond and voted to sue the cities of Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita for opposing the bond.

Also running for chairman was Diana Carey, who was defeated in November for re-election to the Westminster City Council. Carey was elected as DPOC Vice Chair, West County.

Jeff LeTourneau was elected Vice Char, North County; Farrah Kahn of Irvine was chosen as Vice Chair, South County.

OC Democrats are coming off a strong November in which Hillary Clinton became the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry the county since 1936. The strong turnout – fueled by reaction to Donald Trump and an aggressive, lavishly-funded voter registration and turnout campaigns that outclassed GOP efforts – helped Democrat Josh Newman edge Republican Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang in the 29th Senate District. Control of the 65th Assembly District see-sawed back to the Democrats, as Sharon Quirk-Silva recaptured the seat from GOP Assemblywoman Young Kim, who had defeated Quirk-Silva for re-election in 2014.

Democrats stand to benefit from a slew of new election laws passed by the Democratic legislature and signed by the Democratic governor. Going forward, people will be able to register and vote on the same day, up to and including Election Day – a change that plays to Democratic strengths in rounding up bodies to cast ballots. It’s no coincidence that provisional ballots heavily favor Democratic candidates.

The state “motor voter” law has also changed: when a person obtains a new or renewed drivers license or state identification card, they will automatically be registered to vote unless they affirmatively refuse.


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