Irvine Mayor Steve Choi missed making the top two in yesterday’s 2016 Primary Election in the 68th Assembly District when he was edged out by a fellow Republican, former Anaheim City Councilman Harry Sidhu. Choi tallied a total of 13,532 votes while Sidhu netted 14,247 votes, according to the O.C. Registrar of Voters.
The top vote-getter was a Democrat, Sean Jay Panahi, who received 22,965 votes. Panahi and Sidhu will now face off again in the November General Election.
It is quite possible that Choi was damaged by the inter-party fighting that has been going on all year between him and his fellow Republican and Council Member Jeff Lalloway. The latter was peeved when Choi removed him from the South Coast AQMD’s Board of Governors a few months ago after Lalloway did not vote to remove Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido from the AQMD’s Board of Governors, which Choi, who appointed Lalloway to that Board, had requested him to do. Pulido was removed after Lalloway was replaced on the Board and the Republicans took control of that Board. They have since fired the former director of the South Coast AQMD.
Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea, an ally of Choi who is also part of the Irvine City Council’s Republican majority, has also been involved in a long pissing match with Lalloway on Facebook.
Now the fruits of the GOP discontent on the Irvine City Council have resulted in Choi’s defeat. All of this points to major problems in the upcoming November General Election when former Irvine City Councilman Larry Agran and his associates will try once more to take back control of the Irvine City Council.
It is amazing that the OC GOP’s leadership has not stepped in to stop the skirmish between the Republicans on the Irvine City Council. Now it is too late and Choi has paid the price for not being able to get along with Lalloway.