Moorlach to seek O.C. state Senate seat

Moorlach to seek O.C. state Senate seat

moorlachTermed-out Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach — who until recently seemed to be preparing for an exit from active politics — has decided to run for the 37th State Senate District. Moorlach, who will be 59 on Dec. 21, is likely to face a tough challenge from fellow Republican Don Wagner, 53, an Irvine lawyer in his second term in the Assembly.

The Senate seat is open because the previous holder of the post, Mimi Walters, won election to Congress, replacing Rep. John Campbell, who surprised many when he decided to not seek re-election and to leave politics. A special election will probably be held in May to fill the Senate position.

Moorlach, a Costa Mesa CPA,  had a quick rise to fame in 1994 when he ran against Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert Citron. He correctly predicted that Citron’s gambles with investment funds would go haywire. A month after Citron won re-election, he resigned in disgrace as Orange County was forced into bankruptcy.

Moorlach was appointed to fill out the remainder of Citron’s term.

Subsequent investigations revealed that Citron had used a Ouija board in making investments, among the details that made Orange County something of a laughingstock in the national press. Moorlach helped in the cleanup process and won election in 1996, serving as county treasurer-tax collector for 12 years.

In 2006, he ran for county supervisor and was re-elected in 2010.

The 37th State Senate District covers much of central Orange County, ranging from Huntington Beach to Laguna Beach along the coast and inland to Irvine and as far north as Villa Park. Republicans have about a 14 percent registration edge. A serious Democrat challenger is not expected.

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