Costa Mesa Mayor Says She’s Seeking Open County Supervisor Seat

December 5, 2020 Updated: December 6, 2020

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley has become the first Democrat to announce a candidacy for the soon-to-be-open District 2 seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

She announced her bid for the open supervisor seat on Dec. 3, two days after being sworn in for her second term as mayor of the Southern California city.

“Now more than ever, we must prioritize public health, worker safety, and small businesses in order to get our economic recovery back on track and limit the impacts of this crisis,” Foley said in a statement.

“This is OUR not to be missed opportunity to bring my record of results protecting public health and helping businesses, workers, and our neighborhoods recover to the Board of Supervisors and have an even bigger impact in Orange County.”

The District 2 position opened up after the current supervisor, Chairwoman Michelle Steel, a Republican, was elected on Nov. 3 to California’s 48th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Steel begins her term in Congress next month.

Foley, 53, a consumer attorney, has been on the Costa Mesa City Council for 11 years, and served previously on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board.

Her announcement came eight days after Republican Sen. John Moorlach announced his run for the District 2 seat, which he held from 2007 to 2014 before joining the California state Senate.

Epoch Times Photo
State Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) speaks in opposition to a measure that would increase California’s minimum wage in Sacramento, Calif., on March 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“These are turbulent times, and Orange County must take steps to prepare for what could be a very difficult financial picture in 2021,” Moorlach said in his announcement.

“I’ve helped our county maneuver to withstand several past financial storms, and I’m looking forward to rejoining the Board of Supervisors to help protect our county and promote a high quality of life for Orange County families.”

Moorlach ran for reelection on Nov. 3 to retain his 37th District Senate seat, but was defeated by University of California–Irvine law professor Dave Min by just over 2 percent of the vote. However, Moorlach received 57 percent of the tally from voters in the overlapping District 2, according to his press release.

Foley also ran for the 37th District Senate seat, but finished third to Moorlach and Min in the March 3 primary.

Prior to being an Orange County supervisor, Moorlach was the Orange County treasurer-tax collector for 12 years; he says his financial expertise helped the county exit from bankruptcy about 25 years ago.

His candidacy has been endorsed by the Orange County Republican Party, and is supported by the Lincoln Club of Orange County and the Family Action Political Action Committee.

“I would already be able to hit the ground running, should I be elected to that position,” Moorlach told The Epoch Times previously.

He described being a supervisor as “more of an executive position than a legislative position,” adding that the supervisor job is “a little better from getting things accomplished and done when it comes to providing service to the public.”

He also noted that the connections he has made in Sacramento could help him as a supervisor.

“Should there be legislative concerns or issues, I would have perhaps better access, or better ability to shape or to oppose or support various bills,” Moorlach said.

“I would be able to renew my relationships there, and it would give me a lot more gravitas in Sacramento than, say, someone who just comes off of a city council position or some other position that has no Sacramento experience.”

While Moorlach has received Republican support, there are also two other GOP candidates joining the race: Huntington Beach Councilman Mike Posey and Newport Beach Councilman Kevin Muldoon.

Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has indicated the special election might take place on March 2 or March 9. The candidate with the highest vote count will be awarded the seat.


Follow Drew on Twitter: @DrewVanVoorhis