Laguna Beach’s Petrie-Norris takes early lead over challengers

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Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) speaks to supporters Tuesday night at Strut Bar & Nightclub in Costa Mesa. (Photo by Daniel Langhorne)

Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) took a significant early lead in her reelection campaign as the first results came in Tuesday night in coastal Orange County’s 74th Assembly District.

The freshman legislator earned nearly 44% of the votes returned by vote-by-mail ballots counted by the Orange County Registrar of Voters as of Tuesday. Republican challengers, Newport Beach city councilmember Diane Dixon and deputy district attorney Kelly Ernby were neck and neck.

Supporters of Indivisible OC 48, a self-described non-partisan organization that endorsed Petrie-Norris and Rep. Harley Rouda, gathered at Strut Bar & Nightclub in Costa Mesa to watch election results.

Petrie-Norris said felt awesome to be surrounded by long-time supporters on election night.

“When I look out across this room there are so many of you who have been by my side every single step of the way,” she said. “You were with me when we sat around my kitchen table and hatched our very first plots. You were with me knocking on doors and talking to voters in 2018.”

“Orange County, we turned you blue in 2018, we’re not going back,” she added.

Orange County is being looked at across the country as a model for how communities can come together to build alliances, said Aaron McCall, an organizer for Indivisible OC 48.

“Cottie is a champion for her district and has shown her commitment to making California better for her community and involving groups like Indivisible OC 48 in that mission,” the group wrote in a statement. “In Cottie’s first term, she has not only worked to address veterans
homelessness in Orange County, but has worked to protect women’s rights, and keep our coastlines clean.”

This story is developing and will be updated.

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