MOORLACH CAMPAIGN UPDATE — Campaign Redux — January 9, 2019

The 2020 re-election effort for my final four-year term as a State Senator is shaping up, as the OC Register provides the announcement of my first potential opponent in the piece below.

With the success the Democrats had in Orange County this past November and the possibility of a repeat, it makes sense for them to seize the opportunity. That makes me a “target.” I’m happy to serve. It will be up to the voters if they want someone with a track record and experience or if they want to try a different approach.

I appreciate the process that Mr. Min is going through. I have enjoyed this decision process a few times over the past 25 years. The piece below provides a good opportunity to start the sharing of my story, although the piece infers that I won (or one), which is not the case. So, getting you the correct history would be helpful. Consequently, I will be looking back to 1994 this year and occasionally reflecting on the adventure my wife and children enjoyed/endured as I made a major life changing decision.

I’ll provide some of the fun highlights during 2019, the 25th anniversary of one of the most amazing years of my life. I’ll include them in my UPDATEs and please know that I’m doing it more for my kids, who were 11, 9 and 3 during the months of the campaign and 12, 10 and 3 when the County of Orange filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

Twenty-five years ago last month, I enjoyed a meeting in the living room of one of my former business partners that would play a major role in eventually changing the direction of my career (see MOORLACH UPDATE — The Tarnished State — December 17, 2018).

After presenting a proposed business plan for a county-wide campaign, and considering the counsel I received that night, I wrote those some sixty individuals who were in attendance in that living room event a letter on January 12, 1994, about my intentions:

Please accept my sincerest appreciation for your attending my decision discussion session on Wednesday, December 29th. Your coming, your input, and your thoughts and prayers mean so much.

Trina and I have made a decision. I will be running for Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector. I should be publicly announcing my intentions to run soon. June 7th will come quickly.

We’re confident that we have an excellent chance to defeat the incumbent if only he and I are in the race. The time is right.

I needed your input and I appreciated the dialogue, concern and sincerity of the discussion. Your involvement was very important to me. The decision has been made and it is time to act.

I would never take advantage of our relationship. But I also do not want to neglect it. That is why I am asking the following question in all humility. What can you do to help my campaign?

Page two of this letter allows you to put a check mark next to the possible avenues of assisting in this county-wide endeavor. Please check as many as you feasibly can. Then return page two in the enclosed envelope.

This will be a stretching and demanding time. I look forward to the challenge and the growth experience. It is much easier, believe me, knowing that I can count on your support and encouragement. Thank you very, very much.

Very truly yours,

John M. W. Moorlach

The next few weeks found me focusing on forming a campaign committee, hiring a campaign manager and treasurer, putting together a budget, obtaining a headquarters, pursuing endorsements, developing my fund raising efforts, preparing for my announcement and developing a press kit. All this and tax season, too.

And, as the expression goes, here we go again.

Democrat who lost D.C. bid in November says he’ll try for Sacramento next

Dave Min hopes to unseat state Sen. John Moorlach in 2020.


Dave Min, a UC Irvine law professor who was endorsed by the California Democratic Party in his unsuccessful congressional bid last year, will challenge Orange County GOP state Sen. John Moorlach in the 2020 election.

Min finished third in the June primary for the 45th Congressional District, missing the November runoff by 4,099 votes to Katie Porter, who went on to win the seat in November by defeating Mimi Walters.

Following the loss, Min said he was unsure of his next step in politics but kept hearing from former supporters who urged him to run for public office again. Eventually, he decided to compete for the 37th Senate District.

“We built a really strong and amazing grassroots movement and had hundreds of volunteers for our campaign,” said Min, 42, who lives in Irvine with his wife and three kids.

Min said he plans to make “protecting our environment, ending the gun violence epidemic, building more affordable housing, and protecting our immigrant communities” core platforms of his campaign.

Moorlach has served in the state Senate since 2015, winning a special election that year and then earning a full term in 2016, when he beat his Democratic opponent by 14 percentage points. The former Orange County Supervisor has branded himself a fiscal conservative who has sought pension reform at all levels of government. He launched his political career when he predicted Orange County’s 1994 bankruptcy during a successful bid to become the county’s treasurer-tax collector.

In contrast to Moorlach’s 24 years of experience as an elected official, Min has never held public office. Instead, Min points to a political resume that includes time as a senior policy advisor for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and as policy director for the Center for American Progress.

The 37th Senate District runs along the coast from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach and stretches inland through Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Tustin, and up to Orange, Villa Park and portions of Irvine. Republicans hold a 5 percentage point voter registration lead in the seat, but that’s half the of the advantage the GOP had four years ago when Moorlachone [sic] his first full term. The district also overlaps with several House seats and state assembly districts that swung Democratic in 2018, continuing a trend that has seen Republicans losing more and more federal and state seats in recent years.

If elected, Min, a first-generation Korean-American, would be the first Asian American Democrat to represent Orange County at the state level.


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