District 2: Vanderbilt, Brandman Raise Six-Figures for Council Campaigns

Both major candidates in Council District 2 in West Anaheim will have ample resources to communicate with voters in the November election, according to recently filed campaign reports covering the first six months of 2018.

Councilman James Vanderbilt, a Republican, put $149,025 of his own money into his campaign account. That’s a contribution, not a loan – signalling Vanderbilt is going to self-fund his re-election. Vanderbilt also self-funded his 2014 election campaign to the tune of $200,000; he did not accept any outside contributions.

Former Councilman Jordan Brandman, a Democrat, reported raising $120,285.40 – $84,539 in individual contribution and a $35,000 personal loan. Brandman has traditionally fund-raised from a broad spectrum of interests, and that pattern continues in this cycle: contributions are drawn from the business community, unions (predominantly the trades), political allies and local community activists.

Both candidates had lived in District 3 and are relative newcomers to District 2. When Vanderbilt was elected in the city’s last at-large election in 2014, he had lived in downtown Anaheim – in what is now District 3 – since the early 1990s. In December 2015, he announced he was moving to District 2; he lives in a small apartment building owned by his family.

Brandman was elected at-large in 2012 and ran for a second term in 2016 from District 3. He was narrowly defeated by now Councilman Jose F. Moreno. In January of this year, he moved into an apartment in District 2.

Supporters of by-district elections such as Moreno, Mayor Tom Tait and gadfly-turned-mayoral candidate Cynthia Ward assured voters it would result in “neighbors electing neighbors.” The fact that the Vanderbilt and Brandman moved to West Anaheim’s District 2 two-and-a-half years and six months ago, respectively, underscore the naivety of that talking point.

Today, the Brandman campaign announced his candidacy had garnered the endorsement of the Anaheim Police Association. The APA’s support has proven value with voters – plus the APA typically funds significant independent expenditure campaigns for its endorsed candidates.

There are 21,233 registered voters in District 2 – comprising %15.9 of the city’s electorate.

  • 9,408 Democrats (44.3%)
  • 5,661 Republicans (26.6%)
  • 5,346 No Party Preference (25.1%)

There’s no run-off system in Anaheim city council elections: the top vote-getter in each district is elected to the council. For example, District 1 Councilmember Denise Barnes was elected with just 27.1% of the vote.


  1. West side resident

    West Anaheim representation I did not turn out to be what was intended, is a mess, has gotten worse, so let’s take a look at the candidates:

    Jordan Brandman: didn’t he in 2015 oust the neighborhood city council by endorsing Connor Trout, then doing nothing? Thus eventually leading to the elimination of that resident based council? He’s untrustworthy, and too pilitical, I would never vote for him based on his past votes and character.

    James Vanderbilt: he’s a bit too quiet most of the time where it counts, for example the free park land giveaway to Access Califirnia, who wants some of our park grassland for free to run a non profit to service the homeless and drug addicted right in the park. This organization should pay regular rent in a rental office business outside of a park, and James Vanderbilt should have opposed that immediately.
    That would have sat better with the residents showing he was protective of our parkland. Now there’s a chance he’s in support of it, which would be a political move, not in the best interest of the people who actually live here.

    I do not care where a politicIan lives, I watch carefully how they vote, and should be rated 100% on if they actually improve west Anaheim. I care about nothing else.

    It’s what they started out in politics for, before their ego took over. We need a representative with a backbone and a mind of their own. Someone who listens to what the residents want.

  2. All of West Anaheim residents

    Find a friend in district 1, and read their nextdoor complaints. Stepping on crack pipes at the local park is no way to live. No politician in Anaheim deserves even a free bottle of water for the lack of real action to change this. Not a bottle of water!!!!. Yet, their bathrooms at city hall are pristine…they enjoy catered lunches and perks they should EARN first.

    They work for US. Remember?


  3. West Anaheim Not for Sale

    District 2 is not for sale. It’s disgusting that anyone thinks they can move in and buy a seat on our city council! If James Vanderbilt can’t raise any money from those he wants to serve then he shouldn’t run. What has he done in four years on the council? Now he wants to buy four more in a district he moved to just to run. How is this bringing government closer to the people? Districts are a sham!

  4. If what James did, moving to his family’s place three years ago and announcing it at council, is disqualifying carpetbagging, then you should probably vote for Duane Roberts, who’s been there 50 years. Jordan would be out of the question.

  5. Save west Anaheim

    Who really cares where they live. Look at what they have done in the past, what they voted for……not what they say they’ll do, what they have actually DONE.


  6. Though Duane Roberts is a long-time resident of Anaheim and probably a decent person, being a blogger and teacher and involved in activities that may suggest his predisposition wouldn’t benefit our city, and maybe exacerbate certain aspects of city business. Nothing I found suggests he knows the ins and outs of complex decisions behind running a profitable P&L or city business.

    People on the City Council every day face decisions that are potentially beneficial or detrimental, profitable or costly for the city business. The people on the City Council need good judgment, forethought, and reasoning skills, hopefully, business experience. We don’t need professional politicians, attorney’s, and it shouldn’t be popularity or political contest, as those cost the city and residents too damn much.

    The fact nosey socialist Jose Moreno by a slim margin won the seat, and Mayor Tait has since appeared to protect him, yet Moreno has NO practical or related experience shows poor judgment on the party of many people; his performance since has confirmed he’s not only caustic but polarizing.

  7. Moreno: “If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. If you let me experience, I will learn!” – Laozi
    Jose Moreno you have told us your agenda, we must now listen. You have shown us who and what you care about, and who your friends are, and now we must see you for who you are, we must see our future. You have allowed us to experience your type of representation, and now we must learn from that experience and VOTE YOU OUT. LET’S GO DISTRICT 3. Yes we can.

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