PREVIEW: Foley, Bates race for District 5 Supervisor

Democrat and Second District Supervisor Katrina Foley and Republican California State Senator Patricia Bates will contend for the District 5 Orange County Board of Supervisors seat in the 2022 midterms. 

The newly drawn 5th District now covers the cities of Costa Mesa, Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and Ladera Ranch. The Board of Supervisors controls $8 billion a year in spending, according to the Voice of OC

The following profiles will detail the political history and qualifications of each candidate as well as their stances on issues that matter most to members of the Orange Coast College community, according to Coast Report’s 2022 Midterm Election poll

Coast Report attempted to contact both candidates in the District 5 supervisor race, but did not receive responses ahead of deadline. Reporters reached out through the contact information provided from both candidates’ websites.

Katrina Foley

District 5 Board of Supervisor

Why are you running for this office?

Foley has served as a member of the Board of Supervisors since 2021 as the District 2 representative. 

“I consider public transparency one of my top priorities along with ending homelessness, improving Veterans services, and creating workforce development plans that stabilize families and create a path to the middle class,” Foley said on her website. “I also work to improve infrastructure and prioritize climate action, protect our beaches and oceans, and encourage sustainability.”

What qualifies you for this office? 

As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Foley has “invested $2,200,000 in businesses, nonprofits, artists and performance venues devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to her website. 

In 2018, Foley became the first directly elected Costa Mesa mayor. She has also spent 12 years as a member of the Costa Mesa City Council.

What is your stance on the accessibility of reproductive health care?

Foley is a staunch supporter of abortion rights. Following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Foley issued a statement opposing the decision::“This decision is one of the largest cases of government overreach in my lifetime and sets a dangerous precedent for our personal liberties and freedoms,” Foley said. “This cruel and unconscionable act will harm millions of women across the country and reaches into our unalienable right to liberty – long protected for Americans.” 

According to her website, Foley has also served on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties.

How do you plan on combating climate change?

Foley has labeled climate action as one of her top priorities. 

“With year round wildfires, drought, and our coast eroding, we have a crisis of climate change,” Foley said in an interview with the Voice of OC. “We must work to mitigate the inevitable damages that are going to occur due to climate change. I am working on a first-of-its-kind Climate Action Plan to address these threats and help our residents prepare and protect them from coastal erosion and wildfire.”

Foley also held a Sustainability Summit on Sept. 28 at the OCC Planetarium to promote the protection of natural resources. 


“I am committed to ensuring that Orange County will continue to be a leader in environmental protection,” Foley said on her website. 

What steps will you take to alleviate the effects of inflation on college students?

While Foley has not outlined any specific goals to lessen the effects of inflation on college students on her website, she has expressed an interest in the financial needs of college students. Foley has recently praised the Orange County Transportation Authority for offering free bus rides to community college students

“Given that many students have limited financial resources, access to public transit is key to making their education possible,” Foley said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to expand transit access to the people who need it most: Orange County’s youth, seniors, and low-income residents.” 

Additionally, Foley made an effort to help OC residents with increasing gas prices at OCC on Nov. 1 by giving away thousands of $100 gas cards

Why would an OCC student vote for you?

A student might vote in favor of Foley due to how connected she is with OCC. Foley, an OCC alumni, has been very involved with her former college during her political career. At the dedication ceremony to the Literature and Languages, Social and Behavioral Sciences building on May 12, Foley awarded OCC President Angelica Suarez with a Certificate of Recognition from Orange County. 

“This campus has been transformed into a university-style campus,” Foley said to Coast Report. “These kinds of spaces where students have an opportunity to thrive and master what drives them [are] so important.”

OCC students may also vote for Foley if they share similar views on climate change and abortion. 

How can I find more information about your candidacy?

More information on Foley’s campaign can be found on her website

Patricia Bates

District 5 Board of Supervisor

Why are you running for this office? 

“My priorities are to protect taxpayers, fight waste, fraud and abuse in government; increase public safety, help our businesses and economy to recover and protect our coastline and our way of life,” Bates said on her website

Bates has served as the California State Senator for the 36th district since 2014.

What qualifies you for this office? 

Bates has had an extensive political career that has spanned over 30 years. In 1989, Bates contributed to establishing Laguna Niguel into an incorporated city, and was elected as the city’s first mayor. Bates has also previously served as the 5th District supervisor from 2007 to 2014. 

In 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two senate bills authored by Bates into law. SB 434 was introduced by Bates in order to prevent licensed residential treatment facilities from promoting false advertisements to people seeking addiction treatment, while SB 248 bolstered the law regarding sexually violent predators. 

What is your stance on the accessibility of reproductive health care? 

When Bates served as the Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 2009, the board unanimously voted to suspend a grant for Planned Parenthood

Since 2021, Bates has voted “no” on nine different bills aimed to increase or protect abortion rights. 

How do you plan on combating climate change?

Bates has supported bills that combat climate change such as Assembly Bill 793, which deals with the recycling of plastic beverage containers. However, in an article written by Bates in the San Diego Union Tribune, she opposed two executive orders made by Gov. Newsom that combat climate change through phasing out gasoline-fueled cars by 2035 and committing 30% of California land to conservation by 2030. 

“We must find ways to achieve our climate change goals without forcing more Californians into poverty or out of the state,” Bates said. 

What steps will you take to alleviate the effects of inflation on college students?

Bates does not mention the effects of inflation on college students specifically on her website, but has spoken out against inflation as a whole in California, specifically in regards to gas prices. 

“We should not delay in providing financial relief to California drivers facing high inflation and pain at the gas pump,” Bates said on her website

Why would an OCC student vote for you?

An OCC student might cast their vote for Bates if their beliefs align with her policies on abortion, climate change and inflation. Bates has also supported several bills regarding legislation of the opioid fentanyl, which may be relevant to OCC students due to the fentanyl-related death of a student and Harbour resident in 2021. 

“Fentanyl continues to jeopardize communities across California,” Bates said on her website. “The annual number of deaths related to fentanyl is rapidly increasing. Solving this problem must include additional mechanisms in the law to better hold accountable fentanyl traffickers.” 

How can I find more information about your candidacy? 

More information on Bates’ campaign can be found on her website


Editor’s Note: Coast Report is covering 2022 election races and proposition issues that are expected to have a meaningful impact on our audience, change the balance of power in government and/or be particularly compelling and competitive. Coast Report’s election coverage is intended to inform voters – specifically OCC student voters – and promote the democratic process of free and fair elections. 

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