By Jim Shilander
Incumbent Robert “Bob” Baker and Chris Hamm won seats on the San Clemente City Council Tuesday, outpacing rivals Jim Dahl, Mike Mortenson and David Clegg to win the two contested seats on the board.
With all 46 San Clemente precincts reporting at midnight, Hamm was the leading vote getter by more than 1,000 votes, receiving 9,969, for 25.8 percent of the vote. Baker was returned to the council with 23.2 percent of the vote, with 8,937 votes. That came despite having another candidate with the same name on the ballot, a source of major controversy early in the campaign.
Jim Dahl, who had served on City Council for 16 years and who had been the leading vote getter in each of his previous election bids, fell short, about 1,000 votes behind Baker at 7,864, or 20.4 percent.
Attorney Mike Mortenson was just behind, at 19.5 percent, with 7,541 votes.
Retired businessman David Clegg finished fifth, with 6.8 percent of the vote. The second Bob Baker, listed on the ballot as “0 Robert ‘Bob’ Baker,” received 1,643, despite having dropped out of the race in September.
The campaign had been a hard-fought one. The candidates largely divided into two camps, with Baker and Hamm on one side, backed largely by the same groups who opposed Measure A (the proposed LAB development at North Beach) in 2011. They were opposed by Dahl and Mortenson, who had been endorsed by the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce and had the support of a number of city officials and members of the business community.
Clegg was independent of the two camps, but did not spend the large amount of money the other campaigns did. He only appeared at one of four candidate forums due to business obligations.
The race focused primarily on issues of future development in the city, including a proposed two-story height limit in the downtown area, as well as future development and signage at Marblehead Coastal. Baker also accused his opponents of promoting the candidacy of his similarly named opponent as a deliberate attempt to mislead voters.
After the first set of ballots were counted and showed a lead for Baker and Hamm, Baker said he was confident of victory, and said the voters had sent a message about the future of the city.
“I’m feeling very confident that the citizens of San Clemente have shown the direction they want the city to take,” Baker said. “They’ve shown they want to keep San Clemente as a community for residents first.”
In the Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Area 3, John Alpay held off a spirited challenge from challenger Steve Lang to win a second term on the board, 48.2 percent to 42.4 percent. Yolanda McNamara, a third candidate who did not actively campaign, received 9.4 percent of the vote.
Alpay was originally elected in 2010 as part of a recall effort. The race had taken a particularly ugly turn in recent weeks, as Alpay was accused of being too pro-teacher’s union by opponents, and one man alleged that Alpay had threatened his family after he had put up a website critical of Alpay’s record on the board.
In Trustee Area 1, which covers a portion of San Clemente, as well as portions of Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, Amy Hanacek won an easy victory in the race for the open seat, besting Karin Schnell 67.7 percent to 32.3 percent.
Vote Tallies (From the Orange County Registrar) all precincts reporting:
Chris Hamm: 9,969 (25.8 percent)
1 Robert “Bob” Baker: 8,937 (23.2 percent) Jim Dahl: 7,864 (20.4 percent) Mike Mortenson: 7,541 (19.5 percent) David Clegg: 2,628 (6.8 percent)
0 Robert “Bob” Baker: 1,643 (4.3 percent)
Capistrano Unified School District
Trustee Area Three
John Alpay: 8,000 (48.2 percent)
Steve R. Lang: 7,023 (42.4 percent)
Yolanda McNamara: 1,558 (9.4 percent)
Trustee Area One
Amy Hanacek: 9,448 (67.7 percent)
Karin Schnell: 4,504 (32.3 percent)
State Ballot Propositions:
Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education—Approved
Yes- 4,959,206 (53.9 percent) No- 4,241,246 (46.1 percent)
Proposition 31: State Budget, State and Local Government—Failed
Yes- 3,369,175 (39.2 percent) No- 5,220,193 (60.8 percent)
Proposition 32: Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction—Failed
Yes- 3,973,720 (43.9 percent) No- 5,086,590 (56.1 percent)
Proposition 33: Auto Insurance Prices Based on Driver History—Failed
Yes- 4,046,275 (45.4 percent) No- 4,872,423 (54.6 percent)
Proposition: 34: Death Penalty Abolition—Failed
Yes- 4,269,535 (47.2 percent) No- 4,776,815 (52.8 percent)
Proposition 35: Human Trafficking—Approved
Yes- 7,309,737 (81.1 percent) No- 1,698,939 (18.9 percent)
Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law Reform—Approved
Yes- 6,181,771 (68.6 percent) No- 2,826,624 (31.4 percent)
Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling— Failed
Yes- 4,277,985 (46.9 percent) No- 4,835,045 (53.1 percent)
Proposition 38: Tax for Education. Early Childhood Programs— Failed Yes- 2,489,028 (27.7 percent) No- 6,495,745 (72.3 percent)
Proposition 39: Business Tax for Energy Funding—Approved
Yes- 5,295,968 (60.1 percent) No- 3,522,579 (39.9 percent)
Proposition 40: Redistricting State Senate—Approved
Yes- 6,068,518 (71.4 percent ) No- 2,427,514 (28.6 percent)
U.S. House—49th District:
Darrell Issa (R): 38,499 – 66.5 percent
Jerry Tetalman (D): 19,249 – 33.5 percent
State Assembly—73rd District: Harkey Appears Poised to Win Re-Election
With all 339 precincts reporting results, Dana Point Republican incumbent Diane Harkey owns a commanding lead over San Clemente teacher James Corbett, in the race for State Assembly District 73.
Harkey has 104,233 votes (64.7 percent) over Corbett’s 56,964 votes (35.3 percent).
Corbett is best known for his involvement in a 2007 lawsuit while he taught at Capistrano Valley High School. Corbett allegedly disparaged creationism during a lecture, which prompted a lawsuit by a Christian student. The student initially won his suit against the Capistrano Unified School District in Federal District Court, but the suit was overturned on appeal. As a candidate, he has stated that he would champion equalization of state education funding, noting the funding problems of CUSD in recent years.
Harkey currently serves as vice-chair of both the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and Revenue and Taxation Committee. She has recently spoken out against state funding of high-speed rail projects, and has promised to introduce a bill to de-fund the program in January if re-elected. She also serves on the Assembly Committee on Public Employees Retirement System and Social Security, the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology and the Banking and Finance Committee and Budget Committee.
Presidential Election: Obama Wins Second Term
Barack Obama had been re-elected as President of the United States, winning what appears to be a decisive electoral majority over Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. As of 10:40 p.m., Obama had been declared the winner in enough states to provide a substantial electoral majority, easily surpassing the 270 votes needed to win. Romney conceded the race at approximately 10 p.m.
Associated Press: Incumbent Senator Feinstein Wins Reelection
Update (10:26 p.m.)
According to an Associated Press report, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has won her reelection over Republican challenger, Danville autism advocate Elizabeth Emken,
Final tallies this morning gave Feinstein 5,613,610 votes (61.4 percent). Emken received 3,528,510 votes (38.6 percent).
Feinstein’s victory marks the former San Francisco mayor’s fourth Senate term since winning office in 1993.
Emken is the former vice president for government relations at Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization and made a previous run for Congress in the 11th District, in northern California.