When Irvine Mayor Don Wagner was running for re-election, he failed to mention something that would have mattered to Irvine voters. He didn’t really want the job. In fact, rumors were circulating that he planned to run for County Supervisor if Todd Spitzer’s seat opened up, and he just wanted the title “Mayor” to help his prospects. Rumor became fact when he launched his campaign for Supervisor on December 21st — just 10 days after being sworn in for his second term.
To be clear, voters were sold a bill of goods. The same man who used deception to win re-election last November with just 45% of the vote (the lowest percentage by any Irvine Mayor in a re-election bid) now wants Irvine voters to give him a promotion.
And consider this: Should Don Wagner win in the March 12th special election to fill the seat Todd Spitzer vacated when he was elected Orange County District Attorney, he will once again deprive Irvine voters of their power when his hand-picked Mayor Pro Tem, Christina Shea, becomes Mayor. That’s how it works. If the Mayor leaves before the end of his term, the Mayor Pro Tem becomes our Mayor. Shea would have almost a full term without ever having to run. That’s just wrong.
It’s hard to imagine that Christina Shea and Don Wagner did not plot this out before the election, hoodwinking voters to serve their own interests. There were other choices for Mayor — people who actually wanted the job. And unlike Mayor Wagner and his allies, they weren’t in the pocket of developers.
Let’s demand that Mayor Wagner do the job he was just elected to do — so we can hold him accountable for the promises he made to “We, the People.” If he wants to run for Supervisor, he will have another chance in 2020.
The good news is that there are other choices in the special election for 3rd District Supervisor. I encourage you to do your homework and make sure you vote on March 12th.
I will be voting for former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. I had the opportunity to work with Congresswoman Sanchez when I was Mayor of Irvine. I know she cares about Irvine and is prepared to do the hard work necessary to move Orange County forward. Don Wagner, on the other hand, just wants to pump up his political resumé and serve special interests. Irvine voters and voters throughout the 3rd District deserve better.