Only 18% of City Councilmembers In OC Lose Re-Election Bids

There were 51 incumbent city councilmembers on the ballot in Orange County this November, and 82% of them were re-elected to another term. Here is a list of the nine councilmembers who ran and lost:

  • Anaheim Councilman Jordan Brandman
  • Costa Mesa Councilman Steve Mensinger
  • Lake Forest Councilman Adam Nick
  • Los Alamitos Councilman Dean Grose
  • Mission Viejo Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht
  • San Clemente Councilman Robert “Bob” Baker
  • Santa Ana Councilman Roman Reyna
  • Westminster Councilwoman Diana Lee Carey
  • Yorba Linda Councilman Craig Young

In every case (with the possible exception of Dean Grose), the losing candidates faced well-resourced opponents and found themselves on the receiving end of a significant volume of negative mail and other negative voter communications.  In Dean Grose’ case, he appears to have been a victim of the whims of the voters: there were only three candidates for two seats, and each grabbed about one-third of the vote:

Six of the defeated incumbents lost close races: Brandman, Mensinger, Nick, Grose, Baker and Young. The other three – Schlicht, Reyna and Carey – were beaten by large margins.

Incumbency remains a huge advantage. Even when voters are in a “throw the bums out” mood, they usually don’t throw many out.

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