Moreno for Mayor?

The speculation that District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno might run for mayor next year won’t go away – in part because Moreno himself feeds it.

Mayor Tom Tait is termed out in 2018, and Moreno is also up for re-election to a full term. He drew the figurative short straw to determine which of the four councilmembers elected in 2016 would serve a two-year term.

In an interview with the OC Register published on January 23, Moreno signaled he might run for mayor next year:

Q. What are your future political goals? Do you see yourself as more than just an Anaheim councilman? Is there a chance you could run for mayor or beyond?

A. There’s a silver lining for getting the short straw, or in my case chip, I have a choice in two years to run for mayor or City Council. I just think that to run for any at-large seat takes so much money – an extraordinary amount of money that’s why we fought for district elections. I’m not thinking about the mayor’s seat. We have a great mayor. I’m looking forward to working with him and creating a change in culture. I’m focused on District 3.

The talk hasn’t died down. Just today, a plugged-in source reported Moreno had told a mutual acquaintance he was leaning toward running for mayor.

A city-wide would be a tough row to hoe for Moreno, a left-wing Democrat. His first council campaign, in 2014, was at-large. Despite raising a healthy warchest and having Tait’s tacit support, he finished in 4th place.

Like other north and central OC cities, Democratic registration in Anaheim has been on the upswing. The partisan balance in the city currently stands at 41.8% Democratic, 30.9% Republican and 23.2% No Party Preference. Notwithstanding the 11-point Democratic registration advantage, 2018 will be an off-year election with lower turnout and a more conservative electorate – like in 2014. Democrat council candidates were rarely successful during the at-large era – which was a major reason for the million-dollar-plus progressive political campaign to shift to by-district elections.

It’s hard to see Moreno’s leftist politics – such as support for sanctuary city status, repealing the anti-camping ordinance, sympathy with anti-police activists and most recently for allowing non-citizens to serve on city commissions – playing well with an off-year electorate in which a growing number of voters are increasingly fed up with rising crime and a growing homeless problem.

Another question is whether the political bromance between Moreno and Mayor Tait would extend to latter supporting a Moreno bid for mayor. Tait remains popular with voters and his endorsement would be a significant plus if Moreno ran. And the mayor demonstrated last year that he won’t hesitate to endorse leftist Democrat candidates. Still, helping enthrone the most left-wing elected official in Orange County as mayor of OC’s largest city would be a big gamble – as Tait’s own mayoral experience has demonstrated, there’s no guarantee that one’s chosen successor will preserve or honor one’s legacy.


  1. He supports sanctuary city status, repealing the anti-camping ordinance, sympathy with anti-police activists and most recently for allowing non-citizens to serve on city commissions –
    Enough said.
    Please go away Moreno.

  2. Longtimeresident

    This is the scariest politician I have ever seen in 20 years of living in Anaheim! He sneers at those he disagrees with and pontificates all night long to the point of nausea at CC meetings – He is really teaching decorum to the youth of Anaheim – is it any wonder why they’re showing no respect?

    • Oh come on. She isn’t all that bad. Give Kris Murray a break!

    • This commenter supposedly thinks that Dr. Moreno is “the scariest politician … in 20 years” – and yet still won’t bolster the credibility of this clarion call to … whatever … by writing under their real name. Good show!

      Matt, would you agree that one reason that Moreno won is that the vast majority of his supporters were publicly willing to admit their support? Keep up the good-as-you-can-manage work!

      • No, I wouldn’t agree, Greg. That’s a silly argument.

        While you’re here – can you explain why, in a recent OJB post, you called yourself an Anaheim resident – which is objectively false?

        • Come to think of it, I should have predicted that you see no downside to having hooded commenters making attacks — except a month or so ago when you went after someone who using a pseudonym to go after you.

          Please tell me where I identified myself as an Anaheim resident. I’ll either fix it or clarify.

          My guess is that you found me using a plural pronoun like “we” or “us,” including myself in that group. Usually I’ll do that when I’m talking about people who work on and/or care or about and/or are affected by Anaheim issues, etc. If I actually claimed personal residency, that was a negligent error on my part — unless the next paragraph applies.

          I was brought into Anaheim politics at the request of someone acting on behalf of Lorri Galloway at the time of the “Let the People Vote” initiative — specifically because of my professional skills as an advocate (and my willingness to deploy them for free in a good cause.) I was then brought back into Anaheim’s civic affairs in 2013 by people including Brian Chuchua and Cynthia Ward — and we eventually formed CATER (although I’ve represented them both in an individual capacity as well.) I then realized that there was a great need to oppose paid people like you, so I’ve stayed involved.

          Sometimes when I say “we” or “me” and include myself, therefore, it’s because I am speaking on behalf of residents who have asked me to do so. My wife and I have actually considered moving to Anaheim at some point, but we’re raising our daughter’s grandchild while she is in the Navy and are tethered to Beautiful Bountiful Brea because he’s at a fantastic elementary school and we don’t want to move him unnecessarily.

          Happy to clarify. By the way, I noticed this only by accident (as I was checking out your interchange with Vern), so if you really want an answer in the future you may want to email me or drop a note on OJB.

          That should be plenty of grist for the anonymous commenters who are you bread and butter here to, among other things, attack my family. Oh well.

          • From your Feb. 18 2017 post:

            “August 30 was the Friday before Labor Day. The Council meeting was set for Tuesday September 3. Many people who cared about these issues were out of town for the last big holiday weekend of the summer. Three who weren’t were Anaheim residents Brian Neil Chuchua, Cynthia Ward, and me.”

            • Thank you for your concern. (Or whoever’s concern.)

              The “and” in that final sentence was intended to apply to only Brian and Cynthia. My profile, available in each of my posts, states clearly that I live in Brea.

              I could change the punctuation to “Three who weren’t were Anaheim residents Brian Neil Chuchua and Cynthia Ward — and me.” Would you be satisfied — or do you still find that ambiguous (from your perch in Orange)?

            • I mean, LOL. After dozens of prolix “I’m actually from Brea” clarifications, ONE UNCLEAR CLAUSE counts, for you, as a dishonest misrepresentation. You are a desperate fellow, Matthew Cunningham. Scrapin’ bottom.

              • I thought he was from “The Pleasant Hills Of Brea”!

                • I’ve since learned from a realtor’s map that the “Pleasant Hills” district — that’s really what it’s called, dork — starts about four or five houses north of ours, where the slight slope we’re on becomes slightly more pronounced.

                  But don’t panic — I’ll come up with something else that you can pretend you think is funny!

    • Yeah, no respect! He should be teaching them reverence for their natural superiors, shouldn’t he.

  3. Longtimeresident

    Nice try Jose!

  4. He won’t win for Mayor. He can barely raise money. He’s hated in key wards in the city. He barely won district 3. He’d have to run as Tait’s replacement and the party won’t go for it.

  5. “I’m not thinking about the mayor’s seat. We have a great mayor. I’m looking forward to working with him and creating a change in culture. I’m focused on District 3.”

    So the man publicly states he is NOT looking at the mayor’s race, but based on an unnamed “source” you start a rumor he IS thinking about it. And we are supposed to take the word of an unnamed source on a website with an axe to grind and self-interest in dividing Moreno’s supporters over the public statement of the District 3 Councilman speaking on his own behalf.

    Sorry, nope. I don’t always agree with his politics, but I have always found him to be a straight shooter who doesn’t play games. If he had an eye on that seat he would be out and fund-raising for it, he would HAVE to be. Dr. Moreno is savvy enough to know he will get trounced in an at-large election, and if he doesn’t know it the DPOC will make it clear to him.

    Do we not have enough REAL things to be bugged about, we have to make up fictional hysterics now?

    • Cynthia, I’m not “starting a rumor.” Moreno, in the interview, stated that he has a choice of running for either re-election or for mayor – a reasonable indication that he is thinking about running for mayor. Plus, he has said as much to other credible sources. And that is what I reported.

      I agree Moreno would have a very tough time winning a race for mayor, given his political radicalism. In fact, I said as much in this article. But politicians often run for offices despite the objectively long odds. And given the right mix of candidates dividing up the vote, there could be a path for Moreno to win a plurality – and that’s all that’s necessary.

      And which Moreno supporters am I supposedly trying to divide? Are you trying to say there are self-described conservative Republicans who are willing to support a democratic socialist as District 3 councilman, but unwilling to support him for mayor due to those very same politics?

      Finally, you have no standing to criticize anyone – whether rightly or wrongly – for “fictional hysterics.” That is your specialty.

      • Moreno wants to be re-elected so he can challenge Tom Daly in 2020 from a position of strength.

        • Ah. That’s the reason he wants to be re-elected. I was wondering why the hell he wanted to be re-elected.

          This is why you’re my shadow and not me.

          • Tom’s termed out. How will Jose know how to vote without Tait there?

            • Oh I see. You’re the guy who used to call himself “Moreno’s Collar” and other things. The only anonymous commenter with the obsession that Moreno is Tait’s puppet, while most people’s obsession here is that Tait is a tool of the Left.

  6. Vern, agreed Moreno is a puppet and Tait is a tool.

    • Hmmm…i didn’t know tools could have puppets.

      Actually I don’t think either is either. And how many different people are commenting as “Anaheim” these days? You don’t sound like that big Ferreras fan.

  7. Tait stood fast with Garcetti today at mayoral rally on immigration reform and upholding stance on declined detainers.

    • He’s not asking for reform. He’s asking for full on amnesty. How embarrassing for Tait to be standing there. God forbid he should uphold the law.

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