By Brian Park
None of the four Republican candidates for San Juan Capistrano City Council who actively sought their party’s support will receive an endorsement, the Orange County GOP Central Committee decided Monday.
The committee, which met for the last time before the November 6 election to give its final approval for any endorsements recommended by the Endorsements Committee, voted unanimously not to endorse either team of candidates: Incumbent Councilman Sam Allevato and Planning Commissioner Ginny Kerr are running in support of each other while former mayor Roy Byrnes and Kim McCarthy are both members of the local watchdog group and publishers of the monthly newsletter Capistrano Common Sense.
At different points, each of the four was considered to receive the party’s endorsement.
In September, Allevato and Kerr went before the Endorsements Committee to seek their support but were met with criticism by San Juan Capistrano residents and Capistrano Common Sense members who were also in attendance, according to the conservative political blog OC Political.
Later that month, the Central Committee discussed Allevato’s endorsement. State Assemblywoman Diane Harkey and Anaheim City Councilwoman Lucille Kring voiced their support for Allevato, but the committee moved to push Allevato’s endorsement back to the Endorsement Committee in October.
Neither Allevato nor Kerr attended the Endorsement Committee’s October 1 meeting. Instead, Byrnes and McCarthy were recommended for endorsement by a 2-1-1 vote, despite a heated dispute between McCarthy and Committee Member Mary Young.
Young, who also serves as second vice chairman on the Central Committee, made the initial motion Monday not to endorse any San Juan Capistrano City Council candidate.
According to Allevato, he and Kerr were not at the October 1 meeting because Central Committee Chairman Mark Bucher gave them the wrong date, and Bucher told the committee about the mistake.
“I will take the high road. This committee was mislead from the beginning with untruths, misstatements of facts and exaggerations by McCarthy and Byrnes,” Allevato said in a statement. “Because of this divisiveness, the full Republican Central Committee decided to stay out of this local election and not endorse anyone, which under the circumstances, was the best course of action.”
In a statement prepared following the Central Committee’s decision, McCarthy said she and Byrnes “set out to make sure” neither Allevato nor Kerr received the party’s endorsement because neither represented the party’s conservative principles.
“Being unknown to the Republican party, Dr. Byrnes and I never expected to get as far in the endorsement as we did,” McCarthy said. “It says something about Allevato and Kerr’s alleged conservative principles that despite numerous attempts … both were rejected for endorsement by the OC GOP.”
Candidate Tom Marantz, who is a political newcomer and registered Republican, said he did not seek the party’s endorsement because he felt it confused voters more than enlightening them.
“I used the term ‘independent candidate’ to describe myself as free of campaign contributions and commitments that sometimes ties the hands of Councilmembers from doing right by their constituents,” Marantz said in an email.