City Councilman Jim Dahl failed to get the endorsement of a conservative Republican group Thursday night, and he thinks it’s because he supports the reelection of Capistrano Unified Trustee John Alpay.
Dahl and candidates from four local cities sought endorsements from the South Orange County Republican Assembly. He walked out empty-handed after being questioned on several issues.
“No regrets. John Aplay is a close friend of mine. I endorsed him many months ago,” Dahl told Patch.
When Dahl failed to get the needed two-thirds majority from the group, he had one minute to give a rebuttal, said Craig Alexander, a vice president with the California Republican Assembly who ran the meeting.
Dahl focused that time only on the Alpay connection, Alexander said. And he did so again, when he didn’t get the needed votes the second time around. A candidate gets three votes to win an endorsement, Alexander said.
Dahl said he has clinched endorsements from such noted Republicans as Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Orange County Supervisors Pat Bates and Bill Campbell.
“These people [the South Orange County Republican Assembly] are just after John Alpay. They’re punishing me because I endorsed John Alpay,” Dahl said. “I think it’s unfair they would do something like this because I feel I’m a good Republican.”
Alpay could not be reached for comment.
Alexander said Dahl was grilled on a number of subjects, including land use and debt issues. He said Dahl is presuming the Alpay connection cost him the vote.
Dahl said Alexander has been personally involved in attacking Alpay. The lawyer represented a constituent who sued Alpay for his campaign statement when he ran two years ago as a replacement for then-Trustee Mike Winsten, whose recall was on the November 2010 ballot. A judge agreed with Alexander on two of the four contested statements, and Alpay had to rewrite his statement.
Alexander also represented trustees Sue Palazzo and Ellen Addonizio when they sought outside advice about how to deal with Brown Act violation accusations.
Dahl also has not received an endorsement from the OC Republican Party. Yet.
At a meeting of a committee to recommend endorsements to the OC GOP earlier this month, Chris Nguyen blogged that Alpay was an issue there as well. The committee postponed a decision on whether it should endorse Dahl until an October meeting.
Meanwhile, SOCRA did give City Council candidate Michael Mortenson the endorsement.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story misidentified one of the political endorsements Councilman Jim Dahl received.