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Miguel Pulido

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Miguel Pulido
Miguel pulido.jpg
Mayor of Santa Ana
In office
1994 - present
Term ends
Years in position 21
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First elected1994
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Santa Ana City Council, Ward 4
1986 - 1994
Bachelor'sCalifornia State University, Fullerton
Date of birth1956
Place of birthMexico City, Mexico
ProfessionBusiness Consultant
Office website
Campaign website
Miguel Pulido is the current Mayor of Santa Ana, California. He was first elected in 1994 and has since been re-elected every two years. Pulido filed papers to run for an eleventh term on August 8, 2014, and won re-election on November 4, 2014.[1]

Before becoming mayor, Pulido represented Ward 4 on the Santa Ana City Council from 1986 to 1994.[2]


Pulido was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1956. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Fullerton.[2] His professional experience includes working as a business consultant for several different consulting agencies in and around Orange County and serving as the president of the La Farga Group, a business consulting agency.[3]


Below is a brief summary of Pulido's political career:

  • 1994-Present: Mayor of Santa Ana
  • 1986-1994: Santa Ana City Council, Ward 4


Downtown streetcar

Pulido has been a vocal supporter of the development of a streetcar that will run through downtown Santa Ana and other parts of Orange County. The issue was one of the major issues in the 2014 election and became controversial in the city with supporters arguing that the streetcar will help revitalize the downtown area, while opponents argued that it will gentrify downtown by raising the price of housing and commercial spaces. In reference to the streetcar, The Orange County Register quoted Pulido as saying, "We’re basically setting a framework, which I think long term is going to make this county – and I mean this entire county – a better county.” Conversely, Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has argued that a more economical mass transit option for Orange County would be electric buses. At a board meeting of the Orange County Transportation Authority on August 11, 2014, Tait noted that the streetcar is "wildly expensive compared to other alternatives that I think are better.” At the same meeting, he went on to say that the electric bus option is "wildly cheaper. You don’t have the upfront capital costs [...] You could have a system almost countywide.”[4]

Mayoral term limits

In the November 2006 elections, mayoral term limits became a significant issue in the city of Santa Ana. The Santa Ana city charter does not establish term limits for the mayor or city council members.[5] But in 2006, three council members crafted a charter amendment that limited the mayor to five two-year terms. Pulido staunchly opposed the amendment. According to The OC Register, he argued that some large-scale projects require several terms or more to complete and that "[a] strong mayor is important for the city." Supporters of the amendment responded by citing presidential term limits and noting that taking longer than ten to twelve years to complete a project should be considered an "embarrassment." In a June 2006 meeting, the Santa Ana City Council voted four-to-three against including the amendment proposal on the November ballot.[6]

In 2012, the issue of mayoral term limits returned. This time, four members of the Santa Ana City Council - David Benavidez, Michele Martinez, Sal Tinajero and Vincent Sarmiento - held a special council meeting on August 1, 2012, in which they unanimously voted in favor of adding a mayoral term limit amendment to the ballot. Though controversial, the special meeting was legal - the mayor or a council majority has the right to call a special meeting. Pulido was not present for the vote, but his supporters personally lobbied the four council members to suspend the meeting. Pulido himself did not address the issue publicly.[7] The amendment, known as "Measure GG," limited the mayor to a total of eight years, and, if passed, would take effect starting in 2013. Past terms would not be counted toward an elected official's tenure. On November 6, 2013, 77.5% of Santa Ana voters approved the amendment.[8]



See also: Santa Ana, California municipal elections, 2014

The city of Santa Ana, California held elections for mayor on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was August 8, 2014. Incumbent Miguel Pulido defeated Mark Lopez and Santa Ana city council member Roman Reyna.[9][10][11]

Mayor of Santa Ana, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 50.2% 16,608
Roman Reyna 34.6% 11,447
Mark Lopez 15.1% 5,000
Total Votes 33,055
Source: Orange County Elections - 2014 General Election Results

Below is a survey of Pulido's electoral history from 1994-2012. It is based on records prepared by the Santa Ana Clerk of Council Office. The records can be viewed in their entirety here.

Mayor of Santa Ana, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 48.2% 27,092
David Benavidez 26.7% 14,995
George M. Collins 11.2% 6,289
Lupe Moreno 5.6% 3,147
Roy Alvardo 5.5% 3,082
Miguel Angel Briseno 2.9% 1,626
Total Votes 56,231
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 49.5% 21,588
Alfredo Amezuca 26.8% 11,689
Charles Hart 9.7% 4,216
George M. Collins 8.8% 3,820
Roy Alvardo 5.4% 2,339
Total Votes 43,652
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 2008
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 55% 30,352
Michelle Martinez 29.3% 16,199
George M. Collins 13.8% 7,610
Stanley Fiala 1.9% 1,069
Total Votes 55,230
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 2006
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 68.8% 23,170
Thomas Gordon 24.5% 8,262
Stanley Fiala 6.7% 2,259
Total Votes 33,691
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 2004
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 80.6% 38,634
Stanley Fiala 19.4% 9,327
Total Votes 47,961
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History

In 2002, Pulido ran unopposed.[12]

Mayor of Santa Ana, 2000
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 71.3% 34,102
Vital D'Caprio 16.8% 8,025
Steve Rocco 12% 5,733
Total Votes 47,860
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 1998
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 70.2% 24,032
Ted Moreno 29.8% 10,214
Total Votes 34,246
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 1996
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido Incumbent 65.8% 26,688
Leah Dupont 34.2% 13,871
Total Votes 40,559
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History
Mayor of Santa Ana, 1994
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMiguel Pulido 29.5% 10,288
Ann Avery Andres 25.3% 8,830
Sal Mendoza 15.7% 5,496
Randall Young 10.6% 3,701
James Richards 6.1% 2,129
Joseph L. Wagstaff 5.7% 1,983
John M. Raya 5.4% 1,880
Arthur A. Castro 1.7% 595
Total Votes 34,902
Source: City of Santa Ana Election History



In 2012, Pulido's endorsements included the following:[13]

  • U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • State Assemblyman Jose Solorio
  • Santa Ana School Board President Rob Richardson
  • Santa Ana School Board Member Jose Hernandez
  • Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez
  • Former Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Bist
  • Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Larry Labrado
  • Democratic Party of Orange County Chair Frank Barbaro
  • Democratic Foundation of Orange County Chair Dan Jacobson
  • Orange County Professional Firefighters
  • Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council
  • Teamsters, Local 952
  • Laborers’ Union, Local 652
  • Orange County Taxpayers Association PAC
  • Orange County Business Council
  • Orange County Business Council CEO Lucy Dunn


Real-estate transaction

In January 2014, the city of Santa Ana launched an investigation centered on a real-estate transaction that occurred in 2010 between Pulido and Rupen James Akoubian, the president of Napa Orange County Auto Parts.[14] In February 2014, the Los Angeles Times uncovered that the Fair Political Practices Commission (henceforth the FPPC) of the state of California was also investigating the transaction.[15]

According to the Los Angeles Times and the Voice of OC, Pulido had purchased a home from Akoubian in 2010 in Westminster, California for about $230,000 below the fair market value. In the transaction, Akoubian acquired a downtown parking lot that had previously been owned by Pulido's family. The transaction was never disclosed by either party. In 2012, Pulido sold the Westminster home and netted a profit of approximately $197,000. In between these two events, Pulido and the Santa Ana City Council voted to award Napa Orange County Auto Parts a city contract that made the auto company the sole provider for Santa Ana's 753 city vehicles. The contract can be renewed for up to three consecutive years and has been estimated to be worth $1.35 million.[16]

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FPPC "is looking into possible conflicts of interest, failure to report real property and violations of the state's limit on gifts."[16] Pulido has refrained from commenting on the issue in public.

In June 2014, the Santa Ana City Council voted to allow the contract with Napa Orange County Auto Parts to expire in July 2014. The council then voted 6-0 to award the contract to Warren Distributing, an automotive parts company based in Santa Ana.[17]

In November 2014, a legal investigation commissioned by the city of Santa Ana and conducted by the Riverside District Attorney's Office argued that Pulido had violated the State of California Political Reform Act by attempting to cover up the real estate transaction with Akoubian.[18] The Riverside DA office, however, left the decision to prosecute Pulido in the hands of the Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Based on California state law, Rackauckas had until January 2, 2015, to charge Pulido with willfully violating the Political Reform Act or any other charges. The deadline passed without action. As reported in the Voice of OC, if Pulido had been charged and convicted, he could have been permanently prohibited from holding public office in California.[14]

In regards to the Office of the Orange County District Attorney's decision not to bring charges against Pulido, Santa Ana City Council member David Benavidez said, "Does it really come down to who you know for what you can get away with? It gives any taxpayer reason to lose confidence in the system... the DA himself is choosing to remain silent, and that’s disappointing."[19]

As of December 30, 2014, the FPPC investigation was still ongoing. The FPPC has up until the end of 2015 to decide whether to take legal action against Pulido.[20][14]


Pulido is married to Laura Saari. They have three children named Miguel, David and Isabel.[2]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. Orange County Register, "Mayor Miguel Pulido confirms run for 11th term," August 8, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Office of the Mayor, "Bio," accessed on August 11, 2014
  3. The Voice of OC, "Miguel Pulido's Many Hats," February 4, 2011
  4. The Orange County Register, "OCTA debates proposed Santa Ana streetcar," August 13, 2014
  5. Santa Ana City Charter, Sec. 400, accessed on August 27, 2014
  6. The OC Register, "Mayoral term limits pulled from Santa Ana ballot," June 30, 2006
  7. The OC Register, "Santa Ana voters to consider term limits for mayor," August 1, 2012
  8. The Voice of OC, "Santa Ana Voters Overwhelmingly OK Eight-Year Term Limit for Mayors," November 6, 2012
  9. City of Santa Ana, "City Elections," accessed March 10, 2014
  10. City of Santa Ana, "2014 Official Candidate List," accessed on August 27, 2014
  11. Orange County Elections, "2014 Unofficial Election Results," accessed on November 4, 2014
  12. City of Santa Ana, "City of Santa Ana Election History," accessed on August 19, 2014
  13. Mayor Pulido 2012, "Endorsements," accessed August 18, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Voice of OC, "Clock Running Out On a Criminal Charge Against Pulido," December 29, 2014
  15. Los Angeles Times, "Santa Ana mayor's dealings with businessman are under investigation," February 24, 2014
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Voice of OC, "Santa Ana Mayor's Property Swap Raises Questions," November 20, 2013
  17. The Voice of OC, "Santa Ana Replaces Controversial Auto Parts Contractor," June 20, 2014
  18. LA Times, "Miguel Pulido returns to lead Santa Ana as potential charges linger," November 16, 2014
  19. Voice of OC, "With Deadline Passed, DA Mum on Potential Charge Against Pulido," January 6, 2015
  20. The Voice of OC, "Santa Ana Denies Request for Report on Mayor’s Property Swap," August 8, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Dan Young
Mayor of Santa Ana
Succeeded by