'We Will Live to Fight Again'

Election Day dispatches from around the county

*     *     *

11:06 P.M.
Fresh from the victory parties downtown, I pull into the gas station and greet the man filling his tank next to mine: "Buenas noches, señor." Ernesto Villarreal Ontiveros looks up from his gardening truck's gas tank and smiles. I ask him if he voted today; he is not a citizen, but his son and daughter, born here, voted.

I explain that Obama and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido have been re-elected, that the tax measures are in doubt, and that Maryland passed its DREAM Act. That last one makes him smile. "My daughter is going to nursing school," Villarreal says. "We could have used the help, but I'm glad it's there for others."

Party on: Young Republicans at the Westin
Kevin Liu
Party on: Young Republicans at the Westin
Romney-inspired boozing at GOP rally
Kevin Liu
Romney-inspired boozing at GOP rally

We chat as I fill my tank, and I ask him if he's looking forward to the president's next four years. "I'm looking forward to the signs coming down," he says with a rueful grin. (DL)

*     *     *

"PUT YOUR FUCKING BOTTLES UP!" roars the house-music song blasting at the party held by Democratic activists in downtown Santa Ana. It isn't the official OC Dem fiesta, of course—that's just down Main Street at Original Mike's, where the music of choice is Phil Shane on the main stage and karaoke outside. But in the quinceañera hall that doubles as election-night headquarters for the next generation of OC's Latino Democrats, house music rules—mixed in with the cumbias and mariachi, it feels like a quinceañera party.

It's a great night for this next generation—sure, their candidate for SanTana mayor, David Benavides, loses big against Mayor-for-Life Pulido. But their council candidate, Roman Reyna, wins big. Obama wins big. Fullerton's Quirk-Silva pulls off a stunning upset by defeating incumbent 65th Assembly District member (and former OC Supervisor) Chris Norby. The old guard is at Original Mike's; the crowd at this hall is rowdy, enthusiastic and averages about 30 years in age. And so, as the great Rodney Dangerfield once said, let's dance!

First, it's the women, shimmying by themselves; then the guys, lamely following with their drinks up. Then Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez gets on the floor and starts freaking with a silver-haired gabacho who could pass for her father, moving her booty and shaking her chachas like some club kid on a Friday night.

No one cares. For once in Orange County's long, tortured history, the prospects of the Democratic Party are looking up. Who cares if an elected official lets her inner hoochie out. The Dems deserve it—and put their fucking drinks up. (GA)

« Previous Page