UDPATED: Harry Sidhu Cements Mayoral Victory

UPDATE – November 30, 2018:  Today’s vote tally update today has Harry Sidhu leading Ashleigh Aitken by 475 votes:  26,419 to 25,944.

Yesterday, Sidhu led Aitken by 484 votes: 26,389 to 25,905.  In other words, Aitken only cut Sidhu’s lead by 9 votes.

Stick a fork in it – even the most die-hard Democrat activists have to acknowledge Harry Sidhu will be the next mayor of Anaheim.

[Original post published on November 21, 2018]  Yesterday’s update (Nov. 20) by the OC Registrar of Voters cements a narrow victory by former Councilman Harry Sidhu in the hard-fought and expensive contest for mayor of Anaheim – edging out progressive Democrat attorney Ashleigh Aitken.  54.8% of Anaheim votes cast ballots in the mayoral election.

Sidhu led by 1,406 votes on Monday evening. While Aitken cut that dramatically to 892 votes with yesterday’s update, there aren’t enough votes left to count for her to win.

According to our sources, an increased number of counting stations enabled the ROV to complete counting Anaheim’s provisional ballots yesterday morning – and that is reflected in yesterday’s total. While there are still stragglers remaining (damaged ballots, etc.) the number is very small and insufficient to effect the outcome even if Aitken captured them all.

In other words, Sidhu is the winner by nearly 900 votes, or 1.2% of the vote.

Sidhu’s win is one of the few bright spots for Orange County in what was otherwise a dismal election. Sidhu assembled the traditionally successful Anaheim coalition of business, public safety, the building trade to appeal to Republican and center-right voters. Against this was arrayed Aitken’s left-wing coalition of Resort and government unions, the OC Democratic Party and progressive/SJW activists vertically integrated with Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.

The Orange County Employees Association spent $100,000 trying to divide the Republican vote, and with some success: the 8.8% received by Cynthia Ward, whose campaign couldn’t afford any mail, is almost entirely attributable to OCEA-funded mail to GOP voters attacking Sidhu and urging a vote for Ward.

By the same token, Aitken was not helped by the presence of another Democrat woman – former Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway – on the ballot. At one point in October, polling apparently showed Aitken trailing Galloway, prompting tens of thousands of dollars in attacks on Galloway by the Aitken campaign and union-funded independent expenditures.

While Sidhu’s victory is a big win for Republicans, the Republican Party of Orange County as an organization had little to do with it. 58% of OC GOP Central Committee members voted to endorse Sidhu. However, an endorsement was thwarted by a faction allied with donor Howard Ahmanson that viewed a victory by a progressive Democrat preferable to victory by a Republican they viewed as not conservative enough.  It bears mentioning that OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker was a strong supporter of Sidhu and did everything in his power to elect him; Whitaker deserves a share of the credit for keeping the mayorship of OC’s largest city in GOP hands.

The same should be said of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, whose leadership disregarded protests from the same misguided quarters and went all in for Sidhu.

An Aitken win would have been hugely empowering to the radical Resort unions to whom she’d become attached at the hip, and a powerful boost to Democrat efforts to take control of Anaheim.  Instead, Anaheim has a mayor who understands business and job creation and that expanding city services requires growing tax revenues; who will strive to make Anaheim welcoming to economic activity and put an end to the demonizing of the city’s leading job creators and taxpayers.

UPDATED (9:00 .m. on 11/26/18):  There have been two more vote tally updates since this post was published.

On Wednesday’s update, another 1,610 mayoral ballots were counted and Aitken picked up 144 votes – cutting her deficit to 748 votes.  These were likely provisional ballots that had been counted but did not make it into the Tuesday update.

Another 338 ballots were included in the Saturday, November 24 update. Aitken picked up a few more votes – 36 – and Sidhu’s lead was slightly diminished to 712 votes.

Aitken needs a very large cache of uncounted ballots to have any hope of overtaking Sidhu – and there simply aren’t enough uncounted ballots available, according to our sources.

UPDATED (2:14 p.m. on November 26): This relevant excerpt from OC ROV Beal Kelley’s November 25 e-mail to election observers provides a clearer picture of the Anaheim situation:

  1. During our post Thanksgiving ballot processing today we processed 12,227 ballots, most of which were provisional ballots.
  2. We added 894 provisional ballots and 362 VBMs in the 34th SD; 404 provisional ballots and 205 VBMs in the Board of Supervisors’ 4th District and 299 provisional ballots and 136 VBMs in the City of Anaheim.

17 comments

  1. A dark day for Anaheim both physically and morally.

  2. And Carina Frank Pantone’s track record of managing losing campaigns continues. Candidates should not believe her claims on delivering. Unless you want to pay a lot to lose

  3. West side resident

    Harry,
    PLEASE don’t let us down in west Anaheim.

  4. Only time will tell who will succeed and who will be left behind. We have two years with this bunch. May they bring success to our city.

  5. This just in……..Vern Nelson speaks for the “vast majority of Anaheim”!

    • Vern knowingly voted for a Republcan who supports family separations. For the record he supported a Trump Republican who loves ICE, while claiming Lou Correa and Tom Daly support ICE.

      • He must have been drunk

      • I don’t know anything about the Republican running against Lou that I voted for. It was a protest vote. If I thought there was a chance in the world that he would beat Lou I woulda done some research … nah, I woulda held my nose and voted for Lou, to preserve our majority.

        I do have higher expectations for my own Party, keeping to its supposed ideals.

  6. Say NO to Tom Tait park, how ridiculous to memorialize our city’s worst mayor.

  7. Never hire Carina Franck Patone to run your campaign. Her husband blusters legalese that can’t get past a first grader.

  8. No matter what happens if the council members cannot decide on a route to prosperity for the city of Anaheim and not just the resort CEOs we are all screwed as usual.
    Anaheim has the same size police department as Santa Ana and we have twice the square mileage and 25 million tourists – it took 4 hours for cops to show up at a friends house after they were called for a peeping tom seen masturbating outside his daughters window was seen on the cameras. When the police arrived the neighbors were out with baseball bats looking for the guy.
    Anaheim has the same park score as Fresno.
    Anaheim does not have 1 school in the top 100 in California not even 1.

  9. We can thank Matsuda, Jabbar, Ruelas, Moreno and Co. for the state of our schools. They have not gotten better, rather worse under their rule., too busy promoting their agenda/themselves.

    Anaheim needs to enforce all of our laws and our police need to be supported.

    We need to hold all those holding leadership positions accountable.

  10. Looking forward to an update

  11. David Michael Klawe

    The first thing Mayor Sidhu has done is call a special City Council meeting for Thursday December 6th. It will be for the discussion of an immediate short term facility for the Homeless until the 2 new temporary facilities open next year. The Mayor has met with Judge Carter and Todd Ament, looks like a private company will donate land and help fund the facility.

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