There are a ton of candidates running for the Irvine City Council this year. We have done our homework – we will break them down here and endorse a few of them.
The Irvine City Council candidates include:
- Courtney Santos, Scholarship Program Advisor – Statement
- Melissa Fox, Irvine Commissioner/Businesswoman – Statement
- Farrah N. Khan, Nonprofit Director/Businesswoman – Statement
- Anthony Kuo, Irvine Commissioner/Businessman – Statement
- Christina L. Shea, Irvine City Councilwoman – Statement
- Ian Daelucian, Project Manager/Entrepreneur – Statement
- Matthew Ehorn, Entrepreneur/University Student – Statement
- Hyunjoung “Genii” Ahn, Businesswoman/College Counselor – Statement
- Anila Ali, Teacher/Businesswoman/Journalist – Statement
- Dale Cheema, Small Business Owner – Statement
- Shiva Farivar, Nonprofit Founder/Businesswoman – Statement
The only incumbent on the ballot is Councilwoman Christina Shea. She recruited her fellow Republican, Anthony Kuo and they are running as a slate for the two open City Council seats.
There was quite a hullabaloo recently when Shea’s fellow Republican Councilwoman, Lynn Schott, endorsed Melissa Fox, who is a Democrat. While many partisan Republicans were mad at Schott for reaching across the party aisle to endorse Fox, the move made sense to me.
Shea and Irvine Mayor Steven Choi punished their fellow Republican on the Council, Jeff Lalloway, when he refused to do the OC GOP’s bidding with regard to voting to dump Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido from the board of the South Coast Air Quality Management. So Choi punished Lalloway by removing him from that body and replacing him with Shea. She then voted to remove Pulido and the rest of the now Republican dominated board replaced Pulido with Dwight Robinson – a Lake Forest City Council member who is involved in trading of commodities.
The South Coast AQMD Board, once it was dominated by Republicans, quickly fired the longtime director of the South Coast AQMD. But it won’t be long before the State Legislature takes back control of the South Coast AQMD Board. All of this will have been for naught.
But the partisan actions of Shea and Choi destroyed the GOP coalition on the Irvine City Council. Lalloway, who is allied with Schott, won’t soon forget what they did to him. And so it made perfect sense for Schott to show them both the finger by endorsing Fox.
Fox, although a Democrat, is, in our opinion, smart and ethical and she won’t engage in the shenanigans that were fostered by former Irvine City Council Members Larry Agran and Beth Krom, who are now both retired from the City Council. We like Fox and it seems very likely that she will be winning in November.
We are also big fans of Courtney Santos, the only Libertarian running for the Irvine City Council. She has our full endorsement. She has also been endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Orange County. Take a look at Santos’ candidate statement. She promises to protect property rights and resist new taxes, fees, and oppressive regulations. Learn more about her at https://courtneysantos.wordpress.com/.
We are ambivalent about Shea and Kuo. Shea has not always voted like a conservative. And Kuo is going to do what she tells him to do. In our estimate the partisanship that Shea showed against Lalloway has no place on the Irvine City Council. The voters can do better. But if you are inclined to vote for Republicans only then Shea and Kuo are your candidates.
Ian Daelucian is not very well known but I like what I see on his campaign website. He has a strong background in the arts and values the environment. I appreciate in particular his pledge to stop aerial spraying of chemicals ostensibly to kill mosquitoes. He is clearly an underdog but hopefully he will have a chance to serve on a City Commission after the election.
Matthew Ehorn is an economics student at UCI and he owns his own business. He appears to have friends on both the left and the right. He talks about making Irvine run 100% on renewable energy, in his candidate statement. Like Daelucian, Ehorn is a longshot but he seems bright and would also benefit from serving on a City Commission, after the election.
Genii Ahn is a mom who developed a career as a college counselor. She appears to be a Republican but is apparently not in Shea’s web. Judging from her Facebook page she seems to have a lot of support in the Korean community. That community has previously elected Steven Choi and Sukhee Kang – so perhaps Ahn might have some success at the ballot box as well. Unlike most Republicans Ahn is environmentally conscious and she advocates on her campaign website for greener public facilities.
Shiva Farivar is a Democrat. She has the endorsement of Krom, Kang and Fox and quite a few labor unions, according to her campaign website. According to her bio she was once Krom’s Executive Assistant. I cannot imagine her winning with so many other candidates in the race although she seems qualified and appears to have a lot of support.