Former Councilman Harry Sidhu’s quest to become the next mayor of Anaheim is on track to succeed.
Sidhu has held a significant lead over principal rival Ashleigh Aitken since the first results were released. With mire than half the precincts reporting, Sidhu now holds a 10-point lead. It’s safe to say he is Anaheim’s next mayor:
The race for mayor was free-spending and brutal. Anaheim voters were deluged with mail from the candidates and independent expenditure committees.
Sidhu started the campaign with a big name ID advantage over the unknown Aitken, and was able to match her in fundraising. A vigorous independent expenditure campaign was waged in support of his candidacy and against Aitken and Ward. Sidhu
At the same time, aggressive union IE campaigns were waged against Sidhu in order to push GOP voters to support gadfly Cynthia Ward. The government union mailers probably account for most of Ward’s 9.2%.
The stakes were big: the mayor’s office is a bully pulpit and progressive activists, Resort unions and the Democratic Party mounted a ferocious effort to elect Aitken and secure that office for the Left and leverage it to build progressive fortunes in central OC. The Left has a pent-up demand for policy measures that would weaken the city’s economy and undermine the city fisc.
Sidhu was able to rally the traditional coalition of business, building trades and public safety – which has proven very hard to beat in a city-wide election.
UPDATED: Mayor-elect Harry Sidhu released this statement:
“I want to thank my family, my supporters, and, most importantly, the Anaheim community for taking the time to cast your vote for me and the vision we share together for Anaheim’s future. I am honored and thrilled to lead the charge in unifying our city once again. The residents of Anaheim know that it’s time to move past the divisiveness and get back to working with all residents, businesses, and workforce that make Anaheim what it is today. We must return to the understanding that we only succeed when we all succeed. For Anaheim to thrive, we must work together and that starts anew today.”