Election 2016: Here's 10 Orange County Candidates Who Don't Suck

Don't forget to vote!
Don't forget to vote!
Photo by William Camargo

In this week's dead-tree edition, we offered readers an anti-endorsement list—Orange County candidates whom no one in their right mind should vote for and should do everything to defeat. People loved the idea, but asked for guidance in who they should vote for.

That's a bit of a problem for us. As we stated before, we haven't endorsed candidates in a decade and don't plan to bring back the practice because we either like candidates so much that an endorsement will jinx them, or they end up disappointing us and don't need the grief of destroying them (that's all you, Claudia Alvarez babosa). But people kept bugging us, and this election is so important—and we are so all-knowing and shit—that the idea of endorsing people...NO!

So, as a compromise, we've decided to offer y'all a list of Orange County candidates whom we can honestly say don't suck. These are people who many of us Weeklings will personally would vote for, or whom we have known for years. The candidates listed should not take their inclusion as an endorsement—the jinx!—but rather our acknowledgement that they're A-OK by us, and do with that as they may.

Now, in no particular order...OC candidates who don't suck!

Bao: Ready to raise DESMADRE
Bao: Ready to raise DESMADRE
Photo by Danny Liao

BAO NGUYEN

We've known Bao since he was a brave UCI student taking on John McCain followers in Little Saigon, and have followed his political career ever since, from his days as a Garden Grove school trustee to the city's mayor to his fight against Lou Correa to replace Loretta Sanchez in the 46th Congressional District. That his Democratic opponents have spent so much money (or written bad blog posts) over the years trying to discredit Bao shows how dangerous someone like him—young, non-Mexican, gay, a refugee—is to old-line OC Dems, whom never met a real progressive they didn't immediately try to slime.

SHARON QUIRK-SILVA

The most mainstream candidate on this list, but also perhaps the one truly good mainstream politician in Orange County—you kinda have to be good when your day job is as an elementary school teacher. She scored a massive upset when she took the 65th State Assembly seat from former OC Supervisor Chris Norby in 2012, then lost it after the OC GOP pulled every smear possible to ensure weak-ass Young Kim could win in 2014. The two square off again this year, and the GOP is doing their nasty business again.

Clayton-Tarvin: Don't mess with her
Clayton-Tarvin: Don't mess with her
John Gilhooley/OC Weekly

GINA CLAYTON-TARVIN

Thanks to the Ocean View School District trustee, residents of Huntington Beach's Oak View barrio finally have a local politician who listened to resident complaints that the garbage facility just across the street from their elementary school, um, is a problem. And that has driven the worst elements of Huntington Beach politics—who never thought it a problem that a gigantic dump is right next to a Mexican-majority neighborhood—absolutely wacky. Good for her!

BENJAMIN VAZQUEZ

The Valley High history teacher is going up against SanTana's Mayor-for-Life Don Papi Pulido and has the best hashtag in this year's local elections: #benceremos, a pun on "venceremos"—"We shall win." He recently got a national shoutout by NBC for his continued efforts with Rida Hamida to unite Mexicans and Muslims with food. Plus, he just spent this past Saturday helping to run the Centro Cultural de México's annual Noche de Altares—last time I saw him, he was changing trash bags. Last time I saw Don Papi Pulido in public, he was ridiculing the weight of a Wells Fargo teller.

Ana Urzua Alcaraz: Mujer moviendo el voto
Ana Urzua Alcaraz: Mujer moviendo el voto
Rickett & Sones

ANA URZUA ALCARAZ

We first wrote about the city council candidate for SanTana's Ward 3 a decade ago, when she was teaching son jarocho workshops at the Centro Cultural de México and whose students included some guy named Zack de la Rocha. Ana still plays for the nonprofit's Son del Centro, all the while building up an impressive resume as a SanTana activist. She'd actually be an easy choice...

PATRICK D. "MR. PATRICK" YRARRÁZAVAL-CORREA

...but also running in Ward 3 is Patrick, who not only has the coolest last name of any OC candidate this year (he's of Chilean descent), but the coolest nickname: "Mr. Patrick" got it because the thousands of students he has taught, counseled, or principled during a 30-plus-years career in the SanTana Unified School District couldn't easily pronounce his apellido. One of the few planning commissioners in history to ever have a soul, Mr. Patrick also once made a cameo on Visiting...with Huell Howser—that's A-MAAAAAZING!

VICTOR VALLARADES

The former Weekly intern is running for Coast Community College District's Area 3 against eight-year incumbent Lorraine Prinsky. While we have no real beef with Prinsky, anyone like Vallarades who's willing to take on the Trump hordes at the Anaheim Convention Center and keep their cool, then deal with the nasty aftermath heaped on him by Huntington Beach losers is well-equipped to take on the political swamp.

JANE RANDS

Longtime good activist in Fullerton, especially in trying to stop the development of the city's Coyote Hills and making sure the city doesn't tolerate dirty cops anymore, Rands is running for City Council. Endorsed by everyone from Greens to Libertarians to good Republicans and Democrats alike.

DONNA MICHELLE ACEVEDO-NELSON

Acevedo-Nelson ran in 2014, before Anaheim instituted district elections (she's running for District 5), but don't mistake her for some scheming politician. Acevedo-Nelson's objectives have been clear from the start: she's running to upend a political establishment that stood by as the city's police department killed person after person, including her son Joey. And she has perhaps the best endorsement of any of the candidates listed here—our own Gabriel San Román!

JESS BADILLO

I haven't seen Jess in years, but I know him as one of the late, great Librería Martínez's most indefatigable volunteers back in the day. Running for a seat on the La Habra City Council along with incumbent Rose Espinoza, one of the few Democrats in OC who doesn't suck—so her, too!


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