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De Young vs. Bates heads my top 10 list

Register columnist

Got my first political mailer of the season, and what a surprise, it was from Cassie DeYoung. Nothing nasty aboutPat Bates(yet), just Cassie in photos with Supervisor Tom Wilson, who has not "endorsed" her, although the careful omission of that word will be lost on the average voter.

The only way DeYoung can win, though, is to go negative, and with her $2.2 million already in the pot, is she about to walk away from the table without giving it her best shot? This will be a brawl, and it's occurred to me to post my Top Ten local races to watch.

1. Supervisor.Batesvs. DeYoung. I may rig a second mailbox.

2. Measure M.The half-cent sales tax for transportation. A conservative split, between the anti-taxers of the ilk who sit two floors above me and the pro-business crowd. Folks like me who just want to get to work on time? We'll be unheard from except where it counts: the ballot box.

3.Irvine city. I'm guessing council incumbents Kangand Sheawin in their race, meaning the threat to the AgranDynasty is John Duong, who is challenging Beth Kromfor mayor. Only the fate of the free world is at stake.

4. Costa Mesa city. Argyrosvs. Segerstromon immigration? That's a debate I'd go to. Unfortunately, we're only going to get their proxies. In the Argyroscorner, Allan Mansoorgoes for re-election, with fellow GOP endorsee Wendy Leeceas a slate-mate. The candidates in the Segerstrom-sponsored "Return to Reason" camp are Planning CommissionerBruce Garlichand former Councilman Mike Scheafer.

5. Orange city. Four are on the ballot for mayor  including Juan Pablo Serrano-Nieblas, who lists his occupation as "shaman"  but this comes down to Mike Alvarez vs. Carolyn Cavecche, a pair of City Hall veterans. Cavecche got the GOP nod, but Alvarez has deep, deep roots.On the council side, Mark Murphy and Denis Bilodeau looked to be locks, but then into the race stepped Carol Rudat, wife of ex-City Manager Dave Rudat. She grew up in Orange, but the circumstances  they left Newport Beach for a tiny house in Old Towne so she could run  gives this the appearance of revenge for her husband's firing. I may be consulting the "shaman" for greater insight.

6. San Clemente city.If I want Shorecliffs residents to have the right to add a second story, who do I vote for? It comes down to that, really. Assuming the two incumbents are re-elected, the swing vote on the council will be the winner of the third seat up for grabs. The battle appears to be between Lori Donchak, who voted for height limits while on the Planning Commission, and Sally Jeisy, who is seen as the property-rights candidate.

7. Newport Beach city.The two races to watch are Michael Hennvs. Jack Wuin the coastal District 1 and Leslie Daiglevs. Barbara Venezia in District 4, which is on the Irvine border. Henn is a Planning Commissioner and has the support of the outgoing councilman  normally enough. But Wu has guys like Fuentesand Rohrabacher in his camp, as well as the GOP endorsement. Similarly, Daigle, an appointed incumbent who raised a lot of money early, should have the edge, but Venezia is well-known and has a boatload of dough, thanks to the fortune her husband, Stan,made from Rainbow Disposal. Daigle's recent advocacy of suing Irvine over development issues has developers edgy; look for some of their support swinging to Venezia.

8. Capistrano schools. Pro-Flemingincumbents are trying to avoid a political meltdown. Parents have their slate and are turning up the heat.

9. State Senate.Lou Correa(D) vs. Lynn Daucher(R). Millions will be spent, but you know what? Not much will change either way. Both are in the moderate wings of their parties. And even if Daucher wins back the seat for Republicans, they'll still be far short of a majority in the upper house. Why are millions being spent? Where there's a political vacuum, consultants, pundits and party bosses will fill it.

10. Judge.Deputy D.A. Sheila Hansonvs. Commissioner Lyle Robertson. Robertson called me to say he never got an invite from the GOP lawyers' panel, counter to what I inferred from M. Schroeder's comments. I'll sort this out next week.