“Don’t apply if you can’t count your votes”– this suggestion is given to everyone who applies for a political party endorsement.
The OC GOP Endorsement and the OC Democratic Endorsement is given to (usually only one) candidate per position, per party on any given election cycle. This endorsement unlocks partisan money that essentially waits by silently until the party of their choice endorses. Once the endorsement happens, the “Big Money” that waits on these endorsements will flow in, so all candidates want to be endorsed– but losing the endorsement is worse than never applying for it in the first place, hence the leading sentence on this article.
A few weeks ago, Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon decided to try to get the endorsement of the OC GOP. Her Republican opponent in this primary, Kelly Ernby, was also forced to apply so that Dixon didn’t win uncontested. But clearly, Dixon was the leading favorite of the establishment, hence her application.
But last night something absolutely rare happened: Dixon pulled her name from consideration, on the precondition that Ernby would do the same– she did.
Clearly, someone brokered a deal. And clearly, Dixon had lost what everyone had previously presumed was “the upper hand”.
There is another possibility, though: that Dixon didn’t bother to count the votes and had blindly applied for the endorsement based on nothing at all.
The first one would indicate that Dixon is rapidly slipping backwards in support, while the later would indicate that Dixon has absolutely zero idea what she is doing.
Dixon and her husband were at the event last night, and while I did not make contact with Diane Dixon, her husband, Pat Dixon, approached me at an extremely rapid pace and standing only about a foot from my face eloquently shouted at me and everyone else around me: “What are you doing here? You are crazy! Everyone thinks you’re crazy! You know you are crazy? Crazy!“. While I am nearly certain that this is an exact quote, when I asked if I could put him on video to confirm his quote, he turned and quickly scurried off. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the person who was previously LA’s District Attorney, and is currently third down in OC’s DA office.
Ernby had a more precise quote: “I think the OC GOP did the right thing and we should let the voters decide the election“.
With Diane Dixon’s voting record of raising taxes, seizing property, increasing debt, and increasing regulations, one may feel that it is a stretch that she would get the OC GOP’s endorsement, but there is a bigger factor at play here, too: After all the polls are said and done, Kelly Ernby is polling nearly 5% higher than Dixon.
Additionally, Dixon’s impressive 62% name recognition is humbled by the fact that half of those surveyed who “knew who she was” actually had a negative opinion of Dixon, and the remaining 38% didn’t know who she was at all.
This means that anyone endorsing Dixon is not only endorsing her poor voting record, but is also endorsing a candidate who is currently polling lower than a fresh-faced alternative to Dixon’s terrible voting record.
Immediately after Dixon pulled her name, rumors began to fly that “Ernby had been talked out of running”. After speaking with both her and her campaign, I can assure you that this is not the case, and this rumor can be put to rest.
This will surely be an interesting race.