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Baker, Hamm Win Council Seats

Updates from the field as San Clemente chooses its next leaders and ballot measures that will govern the land.

12:10 a.m. Wednesday Update

The incumbent Bob Baker and Chris Hamm, his de-facto running mate, have won the election for two seats on the San Clemente City Council.

With all 46 San Clemente precincts reporting, Hamm was the top vote getter with 9,969 votes, or 25.8 percent, and incumbent Baker was the second with 8,937, or 23.2 percent.

Incumbent Jim Dahl received 7,864 votes or 20.4 percent of the vote while his de-facto running mate Mike Mortenson received 7,541, or 19.5.

Challenger David Clegg received 2,628 votes, or 6.8 percent of the vote.

Challenger Bob Baker -- whose name identical to the incumbent caused a flap during the campaign until he dropped out -- received 1,643 votes, or 4.3 percent.

John Alpay beat Steve Lang in the race for the Capistrano Unified School District Trustee seat to represent San Clemente. Read more here.

10:41 p.m. Update

San Clemente precincts haven't started trickling in yet, according to the OC Registrar. Bob Baker and Chris Hamm are partying with supporters at Pizza Port, though results are still out. Other candidates did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday.

8:30 p.m. Update

Incumbent Bob Baker and his de facto running mate Chris Hamm took an early in the race for two San Clemente City Council seats as early-voting and mail-in ballots were counted. Similarly, Capistrano Unifed Trustee John Alpay led Steve Lang by fewer than 1,000 votes in the San Clemente district. Visit our live election results for all the nitty gritty as the precinct counts start rolling in.

It'll be a long night with all the precincts left to report -- probably 90 minutes before the first votes trickle in.

8:00 p.m. Update

Poll monitors in San Clemente reported a gigantic turnout for the 2012 general election as voting booths and tables were packed up to be driven to the registrar in Santa Ana.

"I have five precincts," said Election Coordinator Albert Radillo at the end of the evening in the San Clemente Community Center polling place. "We're having a historic turnout. Next door, they've had lines all day. I counted 50 people waiting at 6 a.m."

Larry Culbertson, a 16-year poll volunteer, agreed.

"It's one of the most hectic nights we've ever had," he said. "It's still possible we might get a last rush."

Radillo said the constant stream of voters was largely calm -- some waited two hours, others went home and came back -- but the crowd presented some logistical problems for poll workers.

"The hardest thing has been to give people a break," he said. "I had a teenage boy [volunteer] tell me 'I haven't peed in six hours.'"

3:30 p.m. Update

City Hall will be open from 8 p.m. until about midnight to monitor election results being reported by the Orange County Registrar of Voters, according to a release from the city.

The public is invited to watch the large screen piping in results from the registrar, as well as cable feeds from news networks to monitor national results.

People can also follow election results by: tuning in to Cable Channel 30 or Channel 854 (for high definition televisions), calling City Hall at 949-361-8200,  visiting the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ website  at www.ocvote.com and, of course, checking our live election results at SanClemente.Patch.com.

"Typically the first election results come in around 8:05 p.m. These will be vote-by-mail ballots," the city release states. "Then, typically there is a long lull (approximately 90 minutes) before the precinct votes start to trickle in. This is because the poll workers have paperwork to complete after the polls close at 8 p.m."

1:30 p.m. Update:

Voters have been flowing into the North Beach precinct all day, said poll worker Margaret Foley. As of 12:30 p.m., more than 100 voters cast ballots at the Holiday Inn downtown (the new location of the North Beach precinct now that the Ole Hanson Neach Club is undergoing renovations).

Voters of all stripes were casting ballots, signing in with the three student volunteers (Natalie Culp of San Clemente High School, Lauren Pluimer of Saddleback College and Yossymar Rojas of Dana Hills).

Kellie Passaretti said she voted to re-elect President Barack Obama.

"I think he needs four more years to implement his plans, and I think he's done good things for the country," she said. "And I don't think he's a Muslim."

Passaretti also said she voted for council candidates Jim Dahl and Mike Mortenson.

"I live at North Beach, and I think they need to implement their positive plans," she said.

Passaretti said she was turned off by negative campaigning against Dahl and Mortenson.

"I don't like negativity," she said. "I would hope people want to make a difference in our community, and I would think their campaign would show that."

Ed and Barb Brocknau differed in their opinion on the council race, however. They voted for Bob Baker and Chris Hamm.

"[Baker] is more concerned with the residents and not big developments," Barb Brocknau said.

"Also, we're irritated with the Chamber of Commerce," Ed Brocknau added. "We think its inappropriate that they endorse anyone."

He referred to the Chamber's endorsment of Dahl and Mortenson, which has been the target of criticism by the opposing candidates and an independent Wtchdog PAC set up to slam the two candidates in the 2012 election (see link to article below).

Both the Brocknaus voted for Presidential Candidate Gov. Mitt Romney, however.

"Obama has been a disaster for this country," Ed Brocknau said.

From Tuesday Morning:

Here's a rundown of candidates and ballot measures facing San Clemente voters in Tuesday's election.

San Clemente City Council

The race for two seats on the San Clemente City Council has heated up this year with six men on the ballot, one of whom has stated he's stopped seeking the seat.

Appearing on the ballot Tuesday are David Clegg, incumbent Jim Dahl, Michael Mortenson, Chris Hamm and two Bob Bakers.

The race kicked off with controversy as incumbent Robert "Bob" Baker cried foul when a challenger Robert "Bob" Baker entered the race. The incumbent is labeled with a "1" on the ballot and challenger Baker -- who dropped out of the race but still appears on the ballot -- is labeled with a "0."

Baker 1 and Chris Hamm have placed themselves as advocates for slower growth in town, as indicated by their opposition to potential billboards at the planned Marblehead outlet mall and their favoring of a three-story ban over form-based codes to govern development in the downtown.

Mortenson and Dahl have said they would have to keep an open mind about any sign proposal because a specific one hasn't been made, and they favor form-based codes in the downtown over an outright ban on three-story developments.

Complicating matters is the independent Watchdog PAC set up by local activist Charles Mann specifically to slam Dahl and Mortenson, which it has done recently with negative mailers.

Clegg appears to be an outlier in the race, coming from outside the town's political world, pledging to spend less than $1,000 on his campaign.

Capo Unified School District

The Capistrano Unified School District will have four trustee seats open. Two are held by John Alpay and Gary Pritchard, who were just elected in 2010 when the voters recalled two sitting trustees.

When the board redrew the boundaries for the trustee areas, Trustee Sue Palazzo's residence was not included in her area, so she can not run for re-election and has said she wasn't planning to, anyway.

Trustee Jack Brick is the other trustee whose seat is up this year. He has decided not to run.

This is the first year where voters can only vote for one trustee because of the passage of Measure H in the 2010 election.

  • More than $100K Spent in CUSD Races
  • Who's Endorsing Whom for Capo Unified

Congress

In the 49th Congressional District (which includes San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point), Republican Darrell Issa will go up against Democrat Jerry Tetalman.

United States Senate

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) faces Republican Challenger Elizabeth Emken in the race to represent California. One of the most entrenched incumbents in the senate, Feinstein has a whopping fundraising lead with $9,148,030 to Emken’s $676,726. Emken currently lives in Northern California, but she grew up in Orange County.

State Assembly

In the 73rd Assembly District, incumbent Diane Harkey again squares off against Jim Corbett, a teacher at Capistrano Valley High School known for his First Amendment fight with a student.

California Ballot Propositions

Prop 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education

Prop 31: State Budget Process

Prop 32: Political Contributions by Payroll Deductions

Prop 33: Auto Insurance Rates

Prop 34: Death Penalty Repeal

Prop 35: Human Trafficking/Sex Offender Penalties

Prop 36: Three Strikes Law

Prop 37: Genetically Modified Foods

Prop 38: Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs  

Prop 39: Multistate Business Tax

Prop 40: Redistricting

Tom Barnes November 06, 2012 at 08:26 PM
It is not so much slower growth that Baker 1 & Hamm are in favor of but smarter growth. Certain developments like Target are acceptable, while others like the originally proposed Ralphs on steroids and the LAB project at North Beach are not. Mortenson is a tabula rasa, know one knows where he stands on anything other than his campaign cliches that amount to little more than "word vapor." Dahl's record is clear, he has voted for everything San Clemente does not want: condos in place of "open space" at Pacific golf; the original illegal signs at Marblehead that were overturned by the courts costing the city half a million dollars; the original Ralph's on steroids that was stopped in favor of a smaller and better design; and, the give away of public parking to the LAB for their commercial project that was stopped by the voters. The record is clear, vote for Baker 1 and Hamm for smart growth.
Lindsey Hanson November 07, 2012 at 04:18 AM
YIPEE Bob Baker #1 and Chris Hamm have won the city council spots!!!!!
Adam Townsend November 07, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Only mail-in reporting. Still have 46 precincts to go.
Debbie Ferrari, Realty Broker November 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Congratulations to the 1 and only Bob Baker! AND to Chris Hamm!! Maybe now we will have a Council that will vote the will of the people!
JENIFER MASSEY November 07, 2012 at 03:05 PM
YAHOO ! BRAVO BOB & CHRIS !! We are so very happy. You are the Best !! Jenifer "Jiffy" & John Massey
Tom Barnes November 07, 2012 at 04:00 PM
With the election of Bob Baker and Chris Hamm the voters have once again spoken for smart development and hopefully an end to the "crony capitalism" that has prevailed and cost the city so much money. No more getting rid of open space, no more illegal signs, no more "Ralphs on steroids" and no more public land giveaways to projects like the LAB. The final results are conclusive: Hamm 9969 Baker 1 8937 Dahl 7864 Mortenson 7541 Clegg 2628 Baker 0 1643 In the end the "dirty tricks" campaign of running Bob Baker 0 to drain votes from 1 Bob Baker did not succeed except it did depress the real Bob Bakers final total but not enough to cost him the election. Congratulations to Bob and Chris and we wish them well in governing this city.
george gregory November 07, 2012 at 04:04 PM
a new 3-2 vote freaken arrrrrrgh
Allan Roy November 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Congatulations to Bob and Chris. Citizens saw beyond the dirty tricks politics. Bob's reasoning for each and every "No" vote" made perfect sense. The supporters of Jim Dahl withheld critical "parts of the story." They did not include all of the facts regarding Bob's "No" vote on Courtneys Sandcastle restroom. Bob only voted "No" against a bid acceptance at $500 per square foot. He was totally "For" the restroom and in fact had spent far more time and effort on that issue than the opponent. He conducted research and met with local contractors that were willing to donate labor and materials to keep the cost down for the city. Also, unfortunately for Jim Dahl, some backers did not serve him well. They became so full of animosity over the defeat of the North Beach development that they filled the media with hateful, vitriolic poison comments about Bob Baker for the past year. If you read the Sun Post or the SC Times you know whom I am speaking about. Many citizens began indentifying that personality trait with Jim as well since they were "on his team." Their antics really hurt Jim. San Clementeans are very nice, easy going people as a whole and do not want that sort of arrogance filling our debates. Allan Roy
Allan Roy November 07, 2012 at 07:16 PM
oops...Congratulations...
James Schumaker November 07, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I think maybe we can drop the "1" from Bob Baker's name now -- unless he wants to keep it, that is.
Sam La Sala November 07, 2012 at 07:58 PM
An apparition, the ghost of elections past, bearing the likeness of Joe Anderson should have warned his old partner, Jim Dahl that it's better to leave too early than to stay too long.
Grace November 07, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Now we need to get Evert out of the picture. That guy is just too willing to sell out. I don't think he has a clue what San clemente needs or wants. I'm not sure how he ever got voted in. His online replies to the comments made about the campaign came off so childish and strange. I may be wrong, but what has Evert done for this city? Can someone give me one sold fact of usefulness?
Larry Corwin November 07, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Yet again the San Clemente voting public have reenforced their insistence in keeping San Clemente a charming and unique village. I hope one of the first orders of business of the new council is to review the city's contribution to the Chamber of Commerce. I think a very strong and clear message needs to be sent that most people want the Chamber to focus on tangible business matters and to abandon their divisive political agenda. That way we all get served by a viable Chamber of Commerce.
Moonshine November 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Allan- With all due respect, there were parts to many "stories" witheld. Many in the form of mailers...I'm not here to debate or quarrel just to point out that your statement above- regarding not all facts being included, went both ways. In regards to San Clementeans being nice easy going people, I agree, I know myself and my friends fall into that category. In regards to us not wanting arrogance filling our debates and elections - please pass that message to Chris Hamm's mom, Heidi Isch Harris. The day her son won, the first thing she did at about 7:30am was go to Mortenson's FB page and comment on his personal post regarding the election. A post where he thanked his own supporters and even congratulated her son and Bob Baker. I was so shocked that after her son winning, she was still so focused on Mortenson that I took a picture of my computer screen- It's been uploaded into the images on the top right of this page. Just pointing out some "arrogance" was and still is present on your side as well. I appreciate and respect that most of us are above doing petty things like that, unfortunately, not everyone took the high road-- too bad it had to be a candidate's mother. Congratulations to the winning candidates.
Dan Bane November 09, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Congratulations to Chris and Bob. I hope the first order of business is dealing with some of the major problems in SC. Traffic and parking are paramount as is North Beach. I look forward to seeing some progress.

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