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Irvine, California municipal elections, 2014

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The city of Irvine, California held nonpartisan elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was August 8, 2014.[1] Two city council seats were up for election.

Three incumbents ran for re-election. These included Mayor Steven S. Choi and council members Larry Agran and Jeffrey Lalloway. All city council members are elected at-large.

The construction of the Great Park and campaign ethics were some of the key issues that shaped Irvine's 2014 election cycle.


Candidate list

November 4 General election candidates:

Election results

Mayor of Irvine, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteven S. Choi Incumbent 45.4% 18,333
Mary Ann Gaido 43% 17,380
Katherine Daigle 11.6% 4,698
Total Votes 40,411
Source: Orange County Elections - 2014 General Election Results

City council

Candidate list

November 4 General election candidates:

Election results

Irvine City Council, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJeffrey Lalloway Incumbent 22.8% 16,749
Green check mark transparent.pngLynn Schott 22.9% 16,814
Larry Agran Incumbent 19.6% 14,403
Evan Chemers 12.2% 8,966
Melissa Fox 22.5% 16,539
Total Votes 73,471
Source: Orange County Elections - 2014 General Election Results


The Great Park

The Great Park is a 1,300 acre metropolitan park in Irvine that sits on top of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The military base was decommissioned in 1999, and while the property was originally zoned for use as an international airport, in 2004, Orange County voters supported a plan to rezone the property for a park.[2] A variety of different obstacles and high costs, however, slowed construction, causing the park to become a major political issue in Irvine.[3][4] Council candidate Evan Chemers, for example, noted, "Past City Councils have spent more than $20 million per year for a dozen years, more than $250 million to study, revise, publicize and promote the notion of The Great Park. And what do we have to show for this colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. Very, very little, indeed. Think of what just 10% of that $250 million could have bought in soccer fields, dog runs, tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, youth recreation facilities, public pools and well tended hiking, biking and horse trails?"[5] Larry Agran, however, remarked on the park's progress in July 2014, saying, "Bottom line: We made tremendous progress on the Great Park with an award-winning master design and projects completed on time."[4]

Campaign ethics

Another issue in Irvine's 2014 municipal elections was campaign ethics. In September, a campaign mailer was sent out to Irvine voters with a heading that read, "Irvine Community News and Views." Though the mailer was described as having the appearance of a newspaper, it openly supported a number of Irvine's 2014 municipal candidates, including Mary Ann Gaido, Larry Agran and Melissa Fox. At a city council meeting on September 25, some council members raised concerns over the ethics of the mailer, arguing that it was deceptive. Mayor Steven S. Choi, for example, stated, "making deceptive comments, frankly, cheats the public. Some innocent people will be trapped and deceived. I think that is the purpose of this kind of slanderous and false information in this fake newspaper." Council member Beth Krom characterized the comments of Choi and others as "the pot calling the kettle black kind of conversation," inferring that critics of the mailer had utilized similar campaign tactics and strategies in the past.[6]

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