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Todd Spitzer wins Orange County supervisor seat -- again

June 6, 2012 |  1:03 pm

Click for interactive map of California primary results

This post has been updated.

In an easy victory, former state Assemblyman Todd Spitzer won a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisor in Tuesday's election, reclaiming an office he had previously held.

Spitzer, who ran against Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, garnered an unofficial 68% of the votes.

Pauly, who became something of a controversial figure during the election, was recently removed from a leadership post on the county's GOP central committee after officials called her a divisive figure.

The councilwoman was branded in part by inflammatory comments she made outside an Islamic charity event in Yorba Linda.

INTERACTIVE MAP: California primary results

"I know quite a few Marines who will be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise," Pauly said at the time.

Pauly also drew attention after Orange businessman Bob Walters sent out mailers supporting Pauly on "George Wallace for President" letterhead. Walters had been a campaign chairman for the former Alabama governor when he ran for president in 1967.

The mailer became the subject of a complaint to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission.

In a phone interview, Spitzer said that though people told him to disappear because the race could be a shoe-in, that’s not the way he campaigned.

Spitzer said he spent more than $600,000 and raised $1.3 million.  He also said there were only two things that were on the same level of difficulty as winning back the supervisorial seat: passing the California State Bar in November of 1989 and graduating from the police academy in 1990.  

“I never, ever took it for granted that this was a no-brainer,” he said.

During the race, he called Pauly a "political pyromaniac" and said she practiced racist politics. Spitzer was endorsed by  Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Bill Campbell, whose 3rd District seat he will be filling. The district includes Irvine, Orange and Tustin.

Janet Nguyen will retain her post as a county supervisor for the 1st District, which includes Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, portions of Fountain Valley and unincorporated Midway City.

She ran against former Orange school trustee Steve Rocco, a somewhat mysterious candidate who does not campaign. Voters also approved a measure that would lower pensions for future county supervisors.


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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Todd Spitzer, right, confers with then-Supervisor James Silva at a 2001 hearing. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times