Bid for County Office Gains High-Level Support

Dana Point's Mayor Lisa Bartlett announced her candidacy for the  county Board of Supervisors' fifth district, which includes Laguna Beach and 15 other south-county cities.
Dana Point’s Mayor Lisa Bartlett announced her candidacy for the county Board of Supervisors’ fifth district, which includes Laguna Beach and 15 other south-county cities.

The campaign by Dana Point’s Lisa Bartlett for a seat on the county Board of Supervisors received a boost this week in an endorsement by several fellow elected officials, including Laguna Beach’s mayor.

Voters will likely need a scorecard to track the upcoming primary election in June, which promises a dizzying shift in the political landscape as several longtime office holders make bid for higher office.

The most recent to throw his hat in the ring is Newport Beach’s Mayor Keith Curry, who announced Thursday his candidacy for State Assembly. He wants to represent the recently redrawn 74th District, which includes most of Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, a Republican from Costa Mesa, currently occupies the seat, but like Barlett declared his candidacy for the county Board of Supervisors. He aims to succeed Second District Supervisor John Moorlach, who will be termed out in January 2015.

Laguna Beach’s other Sacramento advocate, in the 37th State Senate district, is also likely to change. The current office holder, Mimi Walters, announced her candidacy for the 45th Congressional District occupied by Rep. John Campbell, of Irvine, who in June announced he would not seek re-election.

Bartlett aims to succeed Pat Bates, the former founding mayor of Laguna Niguel, who currently holds the Fifth District supervisorial seat. In February she announced her candidacy for State Senate in the 36th District, which spans Rancho Santa Margarita to Encinitas.

Among the top issues in the Fifth District’s 276 square miles, which include Laguna Beach and 15 other south county communities, are transportation, water quality, harbor revitalization and immigration. The supervisors annually oversee a budget of $5.6 billion.

Republicans hold a significant voter registration edge in the Fifth District, 46.6 percent compared to 26.7 percent Democrats, according to the county registrar.

Laguna’s Mayor Kelly Boyd joined five other mayors in endorsing Bartlett’s bid to replace Bates for the county office, her campaign announced. Bartlett was appointed Dana Point’s mayor this past Tuesday, Dec. 3.

She faces challengers Robert Ming, the mayor of Laguna Niguel, and Frank Ury, a Mission Viejo councilman, who announced their candidacies for the seat earlier this year. Ming, a lawyer for the investment banking company Jeffries, was first elected to office in 2006. Ury, an engineer by training and a 24-year Mission Viejo resident, served two terms as that city’s mayor.

The June 3 primary ballot will include candidates for statewide offices and the U.S. House of Representatives as well as county posts, the registrar says. Each of the county’s five districts represent about 600,000 people, who elect one member for a four-year term to the Board of Supervisors. Next year the second, fourth and fifth districts will hold elections. Deadline to file candidacy or nomination papers is March 7.

Besides Boyd, mayors in Aliso Viejo, Brea, San Juan Capistrano, Placentia and Bartlett’s predecessor in Dana Point endorsed her bid. “She is constantly fighting to improve our economy and the standard of living for Dana Point residents,” said San Juan’s Mayor John Taylor.

A real estate broker and 24-year Dana Point resident, Bartlett is serving her second term on the council, which oversees a population of 33,000 residents and a $29 million general fund budget.

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