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Drummond: Yorba Linda voters most active among north Orange County cities

Yorba Linda not only topped voter turnout in the midterm election among the north Orange County cities served by this newspaper, but the city’s voters gave Gavin Newsom-opponent Brian Dahle by far the highest percentage of the vote for governor.

And Yorba Linda’s voters supported every candidate endorsed by Orange County’s official Republican Party organization – from state posts to director slots on the local water board.

Turnout for Yorba Linda’s 47,926 registered voters was 64% – higher than the county’s 54.7% and above Brea’s 57.4% of 29,432 voters; Buena Park’s 44.5% of 43,867; La Habra’s 46.6% of 33,552; La Palma’s 55.1% of 9,683; Fullerton’s 50.9% of 77,914; and Placentia’s 56.2% of 30,844.

Three cities gave majorities to Dahle in the governor’s contest: Yorba Linda 66.1%, Brea 55.6% and Placentia 54.6%. The others went for Newsom: Buena Park 52.1%, La Palma 51.7%, Fullerton 51.4% and La Habra just over 50%.

Yorba Linda had the highest percentage of vote center versus mail-in votes. Of the 64% city turnout, 12% was cast at centers and 52% by mail. Percentages for center and mail votes in other cities: Brea 8.9% and 48.5%, Buena Park 7.7% and 36.8%, La Habra 8.6% and 38%, La Palma 9.4% and 45.7%, Fullerton 8.5% and 42.4% and Placentia 10.1% and 46%.

And Yorba Linda was the only city among the seven where winners followed the Republican Party endorsements for every position, including a hotly contested race for trustee in Area 5 in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

Three-term incumbent Carrie Buck won the race over GOP-endorsed challenger Richard Ingle, 54% to 46%, but Ingle won the area’s Yorba Linda vote, while Buck won the area’s Placentia and Anaheim vote.

GOP-endorsed Todd Frazer beat 33-year incumbent Karin Freeman and fellow challenger Steve Slawson in the equally contentious Area 4 contest by winning big in the area’s Yorba Linda portion, while Freeman won by smaller margins in the area’s Placentia and Anaheim portions.

As usual, the GOP-endorsed candidates won the two Yorba Linda City Council seats, with Carlos Rodriguez placing first for his second term and Janice Lin second, replacing Peggy Huang. Community college trustee Ryan Bent, a late entry in the contest, ran a close third.

Three GOP-endorsed candidates defeated incumbent Brooke Jones and two others in the race for three Yorba Linda Water District director slots. Phil Hawkins begins a fourth term and former two-term councilman Tom Lindsey his first elected term after his appointment last year.

Back on the board is Brett Barbre, a director for two years before his election in 2000 to the county Municipal Water District. He served as the Yorba Linda district’s general manager for 20 months before resigning earlier this year with a net $194,975 payout.

The district has 47,911 voters in Yorba Linda, 5,016 in Placentia, 567 in Anaheim and 166 in Brea. Hawkins, Lindsey and Barbre won in all four cities.

Jim Drummond is a longtime Yorba Linda resident. He gives his opinion on local issues weekly. Send e-mail to [email protected]

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