Adrian Lecaros crashes and burns in 46th Assembly District race
By Joel Bander Senior Columnist
On June 5, 2012, Filipino American Adrian Lecaros received a dismal 2.4 percent of the vote, 781 total, in his campaign to represent the 46th District (Panorama City) in the California Assembly. Running on a campaign of putting the first Filipino in the Assembly in a district that is less than ten percent Filipino seemed flawed to many people I have spoken to about the race.
An experienced professional campaign consultant casually observing this race opined that ‘this was not a serious campaign by any stretch of the imagination. He never even launched a web site. He never discussed any issue besides ‘elect a Filipino’, which as a political plan seems quite flawed in a district that has less than 10 % Filipinos. Panaroma City ranks 22nd in California, and 84th in the U.S. in Filipino density, based on zip code analysis. There was no attempt, that I saw, to reach out to non-Filipinos.” This campaign veteran did not wish to be named for this article.
For reference, Daly City is the densest Filipino city in California, with 30.74%.
“To give you an idea how poorly Mr. Lecaros performed,” the expert stated, “there were 260 candidates running for 80 seats in the California Assembly on Tuesday. Only three received a lower percentage of the total vote than Lecaros.”
Under the new primary system the top two vote getters, regardless of party affiliation, move onto the general election. In the 46th Assembly race, Adrin Nazarian, the Chief of Staff of L.A. City Councilmember Paul Kerkorian, received 27.5% of the vote, and Brian Johnson, a director of a number of charter schools, received 20.3% of the vote, and will move on to compete in the general election in November. Three other candidates received 20.0, 19.3 and 10.6 % percent of the vote, and then lowly Lecaros, with just 2.4%.
Another source who also asked not to be named, identifying himself as knowing Mr. Lecaros from the Philippines, told me that the only reason Lecaros ran for office was as a tool to promote the Pinoy Insider newspaper (of which he is most certainly affiliated) and Attorney Norberto Reyes. “Essentially a tool for promotion,” is how it was explained to me.
However, I did not see anywhere that Lecaros mentioned either the paper or the attorney. However, I admit I thought it odd that his promotional card was at the Philippine Consulate in mid-Wilshire with the newspapers and handouts, essentially visited by non-citizens far away from his district. And Attorney Reyes does have an office in that building. He also received an ‘award’ for being among the top 100 Filipinos in America, which I have been told required the payment of $1,000 to the dinner organizers within the Pinoy Insider group.
I have also received numerous reports that Lecaros and Reyes caused a creditor of Reyes to be arrested for allegedly demanding their funds too harshly. Those charges were dropped by the prosecutor. Lecaros’ Google+ page states he works for Reyes Law Group. However, his Linkedin page states his professions as candidate for assembly, and it used to state he was membership director for the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce. The election guide listed his profession as independent businessman. I have been informed he does own a booth at a supermarket.
Towards election day Lecaros became involved in a dispute with community leader Joe Arciaga regarding whether an endorsement had been obtained from the Chamber of Commerce. PinoyWatchDog.com had reported extensively on this dispute, which seemed to have some merit from both sides, and misunderstandings. Of substance was Arciaga’s position that Filipinos should not vote for a Filipino just because they were a Filipino. That discussion could probably never be resolved by any ethnic, cultural or similarly situated group of people.
During the election campaign Lecaros was quite active for Jessica Sanchez, fighting against the Chinese taking actions in seas proclaimed for Filipinos, for flood victims, and vote for him because he is Filipino. I never heard him speak out on any issue common to someone running for the state legislature. He never responded to two inquires I placed to him about his platform on the issues, and did not respond to both texts and phone calls from me to respond about these election results.