The 2020 race for the 37th District seat in the state Senate pits the Republican incumbent against two Democrats — a longtime local politician and a university professor.
The top two vote-getters in the March 3 primary will move on to the November general election.
The 37th District covers a swath of Orange County including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Tustin, Orange, Villa Park and Anaheim.
The candidates are:
Currently: State senator, 37th District
Campaign fundraising: $446,864 (reporting period from Jan. 1, 2019, to Jan. 18, 2020)
Endorsements include: Assemblyman Tyler Diep; Orange County Supervisors Andrew Do, Lisa Bartlett, Don Wagner and Michelle Steel; Costa Mesa Councilwoman Sandy Genis; Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates; Huntington Beach Mayor Lyn Semeta; Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, Mesa Water District board members Fred Bockmiller, James Fisler, Jim Atkinson, Marice DePasquale and Shawn Dewane; Newport-Mesa Unified School District board member Martha Fluor
Moorlach won his first four-year term as state senator in 2016 after winning a special election for the seat the year before. He ascended to state office following two stints as an Orange County supervisor and as the county’s treasurer-tax collector. He serves as vice chairman of the Senate’s Governance and Finance Committee and is a member of the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, Public Safety Committee and Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.
Currently: UC Irvine law professor
Campaign fundraising: $504,576 (reporting period from Jan. 1, 2019, to Jan. 18, 2020)
Endorsements include: Reps. Ted Lieu, Gil Cisneros, Pete Aguilar, Judy Chu, Alan Lowenthal and Scott Peters; California Controller Betty Yee; California Federation of Teachers; California Teachers Assn.; California League of Conservation Voters; Korean American Democratic Committee; Asian Americans in Action; Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Min is again throwing his hat in the political ring after losing a bid for Congress in 2018. Previously, he served as policy director at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, and as a congressional advisor. A resident of Irvine, he attended Harvard Law School.
Currently: Mayor of Costa Mesa and consumer attorney
Campaign fundraising: $431,547 (reporting period from Jan. 1, 2019, to Jan. 18, 2020)
Endorsements include: Rep. Harley Rouda; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris; Costa Mesa City Council members John Stephens, Arlis Reynolds, Manuel Chavez and Andrea Marr; Huntington Beach City Councilwomen Jill Hardy and Kim Carr; Laguna Beach City Council members Toni Iseman, Peter Blake and Sue Kempf; California Labor Federation; Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach police officers associations; Newport Beach and Huntington Beach firefighters associations
Before becoming Costa Mesa’s first directly elected mayor in 2018, Foley was a councilwoman for a decade over two stints and a member of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board of trustees for four years. Foley also is the founder and president of the Foley Group PLC, an employment law firm based in Newport Beach.