Mayor Tom Tait has endorsed Lucille Kring, the twice-former councilwoman who is attempting to win a third, non-sequential term (which I’d wager is probably be a first in Anaheim history).
This rounds out the Tait ticket for the two open council seats on the November ballot – the other being government union activist John Leos, whom the OCEA spent more than $200,000 trying to elect to council in 2010.
It’s an illustration, at the city politics level, of Lord Palmerston’s axiom that there are no permanent allies, only permanent interests.
Ms. Kring was bitterly angry with her then-council colleague Tait for supporting Curt Pringle over her during the 2002 mayoral contest. While having coffee with her in early 2010 as she geared up for another run for mayor, Ms. Kring said she thought Tait’s civil engineering business would entail too many conflicts of interest to serve as mayor, and that he’d have to recuse himself from too many votes (I didn’t agree with her assessment then, and don’t believe it has turned out to be the case). The Senate GOOP Caucus ultimately persuaded her to run for state Senate against incumbent Democrat Lou Correa, promising her $1 million in campaign funding. Unforseen circumstances undermined that plan and Kring – who I thought would make a formidable challenger to Correa – never received the promised campaign support.
Where does this leave Brian Chuchua, who has strongly backed Tait and sort of appended himself to Leos as his running mate? At the OC Republican Party Central Committee meeting last month, member and “Take Back Anaheim” campaign consultant Tim Whitacre told the committee that Tait “had not endorsed Brian as of yet” — implying it was soon to come. In a confused action, the committee wound up endorsing Chuchua, but that “yet” has turned into a “not.” Choices have to be made, and its abundantly clear Kring has a far better chance than Chuchua’s quixotic candidacy.