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Beall Breaks Vote Record; Gamble and McGirr Can't be Overtaken

With 1,109 votes left to count, it's now mathematically impossible for Tony Beall, Carol Gamble or Brad McGirr to lose.

Tony Beall and Carol Gamble will be City Council members in Rancho Santa Margarita for the next four years.

With 1,109 votes left to be counted by the Orange County Registrar of Voters, Beall has become the all-time leading vote-getter in city history, and Gamble cannot be overtaken by challenger Kenney Hrabik.

Neither can Brad McGirr, who was running for the two-year term; he has more than enough votes to hold off Larry McCook.

Beall, Gamble and McGirr essentially ran as a team, advertising and campaigning together. Gamble as an original councilmember who resigned in 2004 to tend to the health of her father. Beall was originally voted to the council in 2004. McGirr was Beall's appointment as planning commissioner after the 2010 election, although they did not know each other well at the time.

"With this great margin of victory, the election was effectively over at 8:05 p.m., on election night," Beall said Monday. "There was never any doubt that Carol and I were going to win; the percentages never changed in any meaningful way.

"This is an affirmation by the voters that they appreciate the extraordinary results we have delivered over past years—for their benefit. Our message was very clear. We were proudly running on our record, which is a record of great success. ... Based on that record, they've entrusted us with four more years."

Beall has accumulated 12,273 votes in the three-person election, in which voters were asked to select two of the three candidates. Since election night on Nov. 6, Beall has maintained about 45 percent of the vote. At 5 p.m. on Monday, he was up 0.2 percent, 45.1 pecent from a week ago.

Voted by his council colleagues as mayor the past two years, Beall's total exceeds the votes amassed in 2008 by Jerry Holloway, who garnered 11,124 votes, or 39.4 percent, also in a three-person race. In that election, Beall was runner-up with 10,194 for the other seat on the council while Mike Eggers took third with 6,935, which was 24.5 percent.

Gamble leads Hrabik by 3,571 votes, thus assuring she will sit on the council for another four years. About 20 months ago she was appointed to fill the seat made available by Gary Thompson after his resignation; Hrabik was among the 21 who applied for the position and was on the short list of six candidates.

McGirr, in his first campaign, wrestled with nervousness throughout election night but can finally sleep easy. The attorney and city planning commissioner leads retired CEO McCook by 1,637 votes, more than enough to hold on to the two-year term that was available. McGirr captured 41.9 percent of votes counted thus far, to McCook's 31.7.

With only about 1,100 votes remaining, none of the results will change the outcome for the winners, and there won't anything close enough to warrant a recount.

However, the results are not official and may not become official for a couple of weeks.

Here are the most recent totals:

Rancho Santa Margarita City Council, four-year term (vote for 2)

  • Tony Beall: 12,273 votes, 45.1 percent
  • Carol Gamble: 9,265 votes, 34.0 percent
  • Kenney Hrabik: 5,694 votes, 20.9 percent

Rancho Santa Margarita City Council, two-year term (vote for 1)

  • Brad McGirr: 6,689 votes, 41.9 percent
  • Larry McCook: 5,052 votes, 31.7 percent
  • Glenn Acosta: 4,215 votes, 26.4 percent

Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 2 (vote for 1)

  • Jim Reardon: 8,341 votes, 48.8 percent
  • Carol McCormick: 4,235 votes, 24.8 percent
  • Don Franklin Richardson: 3,385 votes, 19.8 percent
  • Michele Taylor-Bible:1,148 votes, 6.7 percent

Saddleback Valley Unified School District (vote for 3)

  • Don Sedgwick: 44,161 votes, 29.6 percent
  • Suzie Swartz: 44,004 votes, 29.5 percent
  • Ginny Faiy Aitkens: 39,572 votes, 26.5 percent
  • Earl Carraway: 21,647 votes, 14.5 percent

Member of the State Assembly, 73rd District (vote for 1)

  • Diane Harkey: 122,498 votes, 64.6 percent
  • James Corbett: 67,028 votes, 35.4 percent

Santa Margarita Water District, Director (vote for 3)

  • Betty Olson: 29,051 votes, 27.4 percent
  • Charley Wilson: 26,518 votes, 25.0 percent
  • Chuck Gibson: 22,410 votes, 21.2 percent
  • Fred Carr: 14,265 votes, 13.5 percent
  • Stan Dziecielski:13,625 votes, 12.9 percent

Municipal Water District of Orange, Director, Division 6 (vote for 1)

  • Jeff Thomas: 51,861 votes, 62.2 percent
  • Don Chadd: 31,507 votes, 37.8 percent

U.S. House of Representatives District 45

  • John Campbell (R): 161,469 votes, 59.1 percent
  • Sukhee Kang (D): 111,837 votes, 40.9 percent
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 13, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I once again offer Brad McGirr my congratulations. It was a fun race for me and I enjoyed the hard work which was good exercise. During the campaign I became acutely aware of special interest money/favors being donated to certain candidates. I personally refused special interest money which would have any strings attached. Though perhaps legal, it is my thought that in RSM the council should adopt an ordinance forbidding incumbents from accepting cash donations and promotions (including promotional parties) from corporations doing business with RSM. This should also include donations from employees, their family members, their friends and/or lobbyists supporting the conflict of interest with these companies. In my opinion campaign donations or parties given by any interests or their representatives doing business with Rancho Santa Margarita, though perhaps legal, is unethical. Let see if our RSM Council Members will step up to bat with this issue?
April Josephson November 13, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Congratulations to the winners they've done a great job for the city. I'm looking forward to more of the same. Larry, why wouldn't we forbid all candidates—not just incumbents—from accepting money from anyone? If you choose to make a rule for the incumbents, it will have to apply to all, including challengers. What about anyone who owns a business anywhere who might bid on a future contract for the city? Or any individual, family member or friend who might need a permit from the city in the future? We should just exclude anyone who might know anyone who might ever want to interact with the city. That would be the only way to be sure. In other words, no campaign donations from anyone, ever. But then—if candidates were able to only spend their own money—that would unfairly favor the wealthy. IMO, any suggestion regarding campaign funding is inherently biased in some manner and isn't going to make a difference anyway. The voters chose the best candidates based on their merits, not on money spent.
Tyler November 13, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Mr. McCook, Are you running again in 2014? You've lost twice now.
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 13, 2012 at 09:00 PM
April, I certainly meant any and all candidates. Larry
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 13, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Tyler, Never say never but, at this time I have no plans to run again. My responses to city problems are far to direct to ever be a politician. I do appreciate and want to thank the 5000+ voters for their faith in me. Many were new supporters since I lost support, understandably, from The Beall Camp and April Josephson this time around. I do still want to help our city perhaps in business development and as a watchdog. Larry
Josh November 13, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Congratulations to Mayor Beall, Ms Gamble, and Mr McGirr. I actually voted for Glenn Acosta but I thought Brad and Glenn were equally qualified. I liked both of them. I wished there were two seats for Brad and Glenn. How many seats are up on 2014? Glenn??
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Josh, There will be two seats up for election in 2014. Larry
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 13, 2012 at 11:33 PM
There will be two seats up for election in 2014, those currently held by Steve Baric and Jesse Petrilla.
Marilyn P. November 14, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Larry, you confuse me. I know for a fact that YOU were soliciting donations from local businesses and even local unions. It's a small town. Word gets around.
Local Guy November 14, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Actually 3 seats will be up in 2014. Brad has to run again since it's a 2 yr term. It will be interesting... Brad won't be able to run as a slate with Beall and Gamble. I hope Brad wins but I think Jesse will have someone lined up who will have the money to win and no baggage like Kenney.
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 14, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Marilyn, Your statement could not be farther from the truth. Please tell me one business that I solicited money from "which is under any contract" with the City of RSM. I did interview for a endorsement from the Sheriff and Fire Associations because of my support for police and fire services. This was easy to do because I am very strong supporter of police and fire services. Put up truthful facts or please be quiet. I will be awaiting your facts.
Martin Henderson (Editor) November 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM
You are correct -- Brad McGirr's seat will also be available (D'oh). Potentially, Baric, Petrilla and McGirr against all comers. That is, if they choose to run for reelection.
Lawrence (Larry) McCook November 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Marilyn, You continue to be completely off mark from my original statement. Of course I would have taken donations from any company not under contract with RSM. The person that you mentioned was from Applied Medical. Of course I would have taken a campaign donation from Applied Medical! What candidate would not have and to my knowledge they are not a supplier of goods or services to RSM. To my knowledge the Sheriff's Association endorsed no one and the Fire Association bet on the incumbents plus Mr. McGirr. The 5000+ people that voted for me are tired of the incumbent politicians and found me as a refreshingly different choice, with new qualities and a candidate that could possibly bring a major business and jobs to RSM. They also found me to be outspoken, direct and not giving politically correct answers. Do you actually think that it is appropriate to accept campaign contributions from companies under contract for services with The City of RSM?
Danielle Taylor November 20, 2012 at 01:18 AM
I think everyone should remember that Steve Baric & Jesse Petrilla's ONE AND ONLY ACCOMPLISHMENT while being on the City Council was to first pay-off, then endorse & sponsor a candidate to run against our existing successful and qualified City Council Members. I mistakenly voted for both Jesse & Steve. I have listened carefully to the meetings where I have found they have absolutely nothing meaningful to contribute. Jesse is an enormous disappointment and is ridiculously unqualified to be on the Council. Steve just needed the position on his political resume and for all I know he is asleep during the actual meeting. Their one big effort was an attempt to throw out those leaders that have made the City successful and put RSM on the map! I hope everyone remembers Steve Baric & Jesse Petrilla's antics in this past election. I am glad that Mayor Beall broke the record for the highest number of votes. What a great rejection of Baric & Petrilla's political foolishness! I'm sure both Baric & Petrilla will be chocking down a BIG DOSE dose of their own medicine if they attempt to run for office in 2014. Lets just see if they can swallow what they have been spewing at the residents for the last 4 months!

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