I always thought former SanTana councilmember Jose Solorio was the Mexican version of Ned Flanders: a nice guy who looked perpetually young thanks to a great head of hair, a fabulous mustache, ruddy cheeks and a vanilla personality that inspired no one. More than anything, he was just there: even after winning a state assembly seat, getting a seat on the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) board of trustees in 2012, and losing a state senate bid two years ago, Solorio's most memorable accomplishments consisted of losing his mustache and being one of the few politicians willing to admit that they're a vegetarian.
Then Solorio decided to do the worst legal thing a politician could do: run again for a seat they once occupied. Earlier this summer, he announced he was going to run for the SanTana City Council, a seat he hadn't occupied since 2006. But instead of running in the ward where he owns a home (Ward 1, in the southern part of the city), Solorio announced he was going to carpetbag by renting an apartment in Ward 3, which represents SanTana's ritzy Floral Park and Park Santiago neighborhoods. “'I’ll be living out of there,' and campaigning out of there,” he told the Voice of OC, deeming his “beautiful apartment” off Grand Avenue his “home base.”
No one in SanTana believes him, of course, especially since all the apartments in Ward 3 near Grand are about as beautiful as a capybara, and Solorio's particular complex has a 3 1/2 star review on Yelp, with folks describing it as “Don't live here unless you want to be ripped off and want absolutely zero respect for your privacy” and “my worst apartment living experience ever!!!” Yet Solorio is continuing his campaign of truthiness with his current ballot designation: “college trustee/businessman.”
Like his residency, Solorio is technically telling the truth: he was a trustee this year, and California electoral code allows political candidates to list a particular profession on their ballot designation as long as they actually were that in the previous year. But to run for SanTana City Council in Ward 3, Solorio had to resign his RSCCD trustee seat since it was in a different part of the city. So in other words, Solorio is telling the world he's something that he legally can't be in order to him to run.
Man, shit like this is why people hate American democracy and point to SanTana politics as being a perpetual banana republic. I'm sure Solorio will justify it to critics by pointing to the law, but let's be real, Jose: You ain't a trustee anymore, and you shouldn't tell people you are.
PS, remember during Election Night in 2014, where you had to strain for a smile at Original Mike's after getting your ass handed to you by current State Senator Janet Nguyen, when I told you the reason you lost is because you got rid of your mustache? Now I'm convinced that this sans-bigote Jose isn't the real Jose, and that the real Jose was kidnapped and replaced by a fake Jose. Can someone find the real Jose, stat?