District 5: OC GOP Suspends Aid To Mark Lopez Over Sanctuary City Comments

[Cross-posted from OC Daily]

The Republican Party of Orange County is suspending aid to Mark Lopez, who is running for Anaheim City Council in District 5, over his comments regarding making Anaheim a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. Lopez is part of the slate of candidates endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait in the four council districts on the November 8 ballot; the others are leftist Democrats Jose F. Moreno (District 3) and Arturo Ferreras (District 4), and Republican Denise Barnes in District 1.

Candidates at the October 24 candidate forum, which was organized by a coalition of progressive political groups. The audience was packed with progressive activists who cheered loudly when candidates struck the left-most position.

Candidates were asked if they supported declaring Anaheim a “sanctuary city for undocumented residents.” Moreno and Ferreras each said they did. Lopez didn’t use the phrase “sanctuary city” but his answer supported the elements of sanctuary city status – prohibiting the police to from involvement with federal immigration matters.

Republican Outcry Over Lopez Stance
Lopez’ answer sparked an outcry among OC GOP activists and calls for the county party to rescind its endorsement of Lopez. Adding fuel to the fire were Lopez’s politically correct answers to questions about the city’s anti-camping ordinance to prevent parks from turning into homeless encampments, and Anaheim’s participation in a Homeland Security Department anti-terrorism program.

Lopez pledged to support repeal of the anti-camping ordinance and oppose city participation in the anti-terrorism program – criticizing it was “discriminatory.”

At the same time, video emerged of Lopez attending an Arab American Democratic Club fundraiser for progressive Democrat Jose F. Moreno:



  1. [Deleted for commment spamming]

  2. The Republican Party of Orange County has restored its support for Mark Lopez after reviewing the facts. See letter from Chairman Fred Whitaker below:

    From the desk of the Honorable Chairman Fred M. Whitaker

    Dear Central Committee Members,

    Last week I notified you about my decision to suspend candidate aid to Irvine Unified School District Candidate Mark Newgent and Anaheim City Council District 5 Candidate Mark Lopez based on certain allegations made against them. After a careful review of the the available video evidence and facts surrounding the allegations, and in consultation with legal counsel and the Executive Committee, I’ve made a final determination.

    Despite Mr. Newgent’s honorable service to our country in the armed forces, it is clear that his video postings are ultimately a reflection of his own thoughts – as opposed to a character or persona as he had claimed. The content of the videos is unacceptable for someone running as the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party of Orange County, especially for a school board. As a result, the suspension of aid to Mr. Newgent remains in effect for the duration of the election cycle. For your reference, links to Mr. Newgent’s video postings can be found below:

    Mark Newgent Attacking 14 year old kid
    Mark Newgent – “Scripture is crap political propaganda”
    Mark Newgent gets drunk and posts videos online
    Mark Newgent

    With regard to the accusation against Mr. Lopez that he allegedly expressed support for the idea of “Sanctuary Cities” at a recent political forum, it is clear that his comments were taken out of context. A video recording of Mr. Lopez’s comments at the forum, which can be viewed by clicking here and skipping to the 30 minute mark, demonstrates that he opposes the idea of having local police enforce federal law – which is substantively different than calling for Anaheim to become a Sanctuary City. It seems appropriate to note that there are many Republicans that advocate a similar position to what Mr. Lopez stated. Personally, I didn’t find Mr. Lopez’s statement on this issue any more objectionable than the statement from his Republican opponent – Steve Faessel – who declared his support for undocumented immigrants having access to higher education. Ultimately, Mr. Lopez’s stated position does not contradict the party platform. Therefore, the suspension of his candidate aid has been lifted, restoring his access to the Republican Party of Orange County’s resources for Member Communication efforts.

    I am confident that we have reached a fair and reasonable conclusion on these matters and appreciate your patience as we worked through the process. Now that we are a week out from election day, I look forward to having you join me in stepping up the party’s efforts to support our targeted candidates and ensure that they are successful on November 8th. Thank you for your service to the Republican Party of Orange County.


    Hon. Fred M. Whitaker
    Republican Party of Orange County

    • With all due respect to Fred, I think his assessment of Lopez’s answer is wrong.

      Furthermore, is it the policy of the OC Republican Party that it’s A-OK for an OC GOP-endorsed candidate to help fund-raise for an officially DPOC-endorsed Democrat for city council? Mark Lopez participated in an Arab American Democratic Club fundraiser for leftist Democrat Jose F. Moreno on October 23. This is undeniable. If any one doubts it, watch this Facebook Live video by progressive activist Mirvette Judeh:


      Perhaps Mr. Lopez or a member of his campaign team can comment on why he is trying to elect one of the most left-wing Democrat politicians in Orange County?

  3. Congratulations Mark! You have Sanctuary with Republicans!

  4. Garbage like this is why the Republican Party in Orange county is in decline. Contrary to the know nothing pundits and “Experts”, it’s not because of the increase in Latinos or Orange County becoming more “diverse” but because of ineptness like this. The party only seems to care about the easy things,; candidates and elections where the poobahs live (overwhelming Republicans) or electing aides and friends. Instead of getting out and about and working hard to get people of Latino ethnicity to vote Republican lets go the easy route and just get somebody with a Spanish surname anything else like issues and beliefs be damned. Matt detailed the issues with Lopez’s candidacy and yet the OCGOP still endorsed and supported him and this reply from Whitaker is even worst than the initial support. Things like this, the Lucille Kring drama, and the ineptness in the Garden Grove elections show the serious issue with not only the party but it’s leadership.

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