The de facto incumbent in D3 is Councilman Jordan Brandman, a Democrat, who was the top vote-getter in 2012. His principal challenger is Jose F. Moreno, the left-wing chairman of the CSULB Chicano Studies Department. Moreno is a Democrat of recent vintage, and was recently named to the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee and the chosen candidate of Mayor Tom Tait.
Also running are Linda Lobatos and perennial candidate Jennifer Rivera, who are also Democrats. District 3 has 16,600 registered voters in 9,502 households and Democrats hold a strong voter registration edge: 47.7% Democrat to 25% Republican.
Nelson is so far the only Republican in the District 3 race. He ran for Anaheim City Council in 2010, finishing in fifth place with 6.7% of the vote:
Nelson raised a little more than $5,000 in that race – most of it being his own money.
His volunteer campaign manager in 2010 was Cynthia Ward, then a staunch Tait foe and now a staunch Tait ally:
His treasurer for that campaign was Helen Myers, now serving as council assistant to Councilman James Vanderbilt.
Since Mayor Tait is supporting for Moreno, to which candidate will his followers lend their endorsements in light of ties of friendship and past support for Nelson? Given that the District 3 candidate field had been all-Democratic with three of the four candidates being Latino, one veteran Anaheim politico I spoke to believes Nelson is a Trojan Horse candidate whose purpose is attract Anglo and Republican votes that might otherwise have gone to Brandman.
Who knows? People become candidates for all kinds of reasons. But if Nelson, who heretofore has shown no ability to raise money, suddenly is able to raise enough to do damage, or if independent expenditures materialize on his behalf, that would indicate something is up.