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ORANGE COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS : Runoff Opponents to Take a Break : Beam, Roth Plan Trips Before Fall Supervisorial Battle

Times County Bureau Chief

The mayor of Anaheim looked toward his Caribbean cruise. The mayor of Orange cast his eyes toward his getaway retreat in the desert. On Wednesday both predicted victory in their quest to become a county supervisor in November.

Orange Mayor James H. Beam edged Anaheim Mayor Donald R. Roth by 714 votes in Tuesday’s primary, according to the final unofficial tally, but because no candidate in the four-man race polled more than 50%, the top two will face each other in a November runoff election.

The vote count showed Beam with 20,257 votes or 34.6%; Roth, 19,543 or 33.4%; former U.S. Rep. Jerry M. Patterson, 15,343 or 26.2%, and architect Manuel P. Mendez with 3,283 or 5.6%. Just over 31% of the 181,653 registered voters in the district cast ballots.

The battle for the $55,000-a-year post was set off last August when Ralph B. Clark announced that he would not seek reelection after 16 years representing the district that includes Anaheim, Orange, Brea and La Palma.

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First to Declare

Beam was the first to declare his candidacy and attributed his success to an early start walking precincts and his direct-mail campaign.

“I did start (walking precincts) in February and was pretty faithful about it,” Beam said. “I just rang more doorbells than (the opponents) did.”

“I believe my direct mail was more professionally done. I was not impressed with Patterson or Roth’s direct mail campaign. . . . I think it still boils down to direct mail in these local races.”

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Roth said the low turnout in the district, including his political base in Anaheim, was “sickening.” Nearly 60% of the registered voters in the district live in Anaheim.

Although detailed breakdowns of voting patterns were not yet available, Roth said he believed his supporters in Anaheim felt he was so strong that “nobody voted. They stayed home. That’s the key. And when you can’t get people to vote, you can’t get the numbers.”

Still, as more votes came in, Roth kept narrowing the gap with Beam to the point where he was able to pronounce himself “pleased” with the result.

Roth said he planned to fly to Acapulco Thursday and board a cruise ship for a journey through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. He added that he will worry about the fall campaign when he returns.

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Beam said he hopes to spend more time at a home in the desert that he hasn’t seen since his campaign moved into high gear but vowed to resume walking precincts after the July 4 holiday.

The Orange mayor made transportation his key theme in the campaign and said he expects to continue emphasizing it in the general election.

“Beyond that, I’m not sure,” he said. “We’ll regroup here and look at the landscape and see what’s on the voters’ minds that we should talk about and what we want to talk about.”

Both Are Republicans

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Although the post is nonpartisan, both Beam and Roth are Republicans. In searching for Republican money, they will have to compete in part with backers of Gov. George Deukmejian and U.S. Senate candidate Ed Zschau. Also, they won’t be able to raise the specter of a Democratic opponent, such as Patterson, in trying to collect funds.

‘Just Means More Work’

Beam said it “just means we’ll have to do more work to raise $150,000 than in other circumstances. . . . There’s no question if (the opponent) was Patterson there would be easier fund raising.”

Beam said $150,000 was his early “ballpark” estimate for what his general election campaign would cost. As of May 17, he had raised $394,322, compared to $322,360 for Roth and $128,564 for Patterson.

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Both finalists expressed confidence about the November vote.

“We’ll do a great job in November,” Roth said. “I’m going to win it,” Beam said.


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