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The 2010 election neared its climax this week, with a flurry of mailers, phone calls, endorsements, precinct walking and letters to the editor.

In the hotly contested 3rd District council race, Ed Reno, who has built his campaign around active Republican Party support, rolled out automated “robo-calls” featuring former Gov. Pete Wilson.

Meanwhile, Rush Hill, Reno’s opponent for the 3rd District seat being vacated by the term-limited Don Webb, picked up and ran with a statement of support from Mayor Keith Curry, who had endorsed Reno late last year, before Hill entered the race.

Curry noted that endorsement, but said Hill is also “an outstanding community leader.”

“Rush has a firm understanding of the issues facing our city and if elected he would be a strong and effective council member,” the mayor said.

Hill and Reno also face off in print today in the Newport Beach Independent’s 10 Questions feature, on page 6 and on www.newportbeachindy.com.

Campaign finance reports for October showed that Reno raised nearly $20,000 in the first three weeks of the month, including $3,500 from developer and former ambassador George Argyros and his immediate family.

For his part, Hill raised less than $10,000, but benefited from more than $12,000 in independent expenditure on his behalf by the Newport Beach Firefighters Association. Hill also reported spending more than $32,000 on mailing services this month.

In the Newport-Mesa school board race between longtime incumbent Judy Franco and challenger Loretta Zimmerman, Franco also picked up an endorsement this week – from Sandy Asper, who ran against Franco four years ago (see Weekly Rave on page 8).

“If someone had told me a year ago that I would not just be supporting Judy Franco, but enthusiastically supporting Judy, I would have said they were crazy,” Asper wrote, before listing her reasons for endorsing Franco now.

And the debate over Measure V, a proposal to make 15 changes in the City Charter, which had been simmering throughout the election season as 4th District candidate Mark Tabbert persistently questioned the measure, heated to a boil this week as the Greenlight organization took out newspaper ads blasting the proposal.

The Greenlight ad prompted some angry responses from Measure V supporters, who said the ad and statements by the group misrepresented the measure. Greenlight and Tabbert continued to press their attack, however.

See letters from both sides of the debate in our Forum, on page 8.

Absentee voting is already under way in the election, which also features state and national races, including the contests for governor between Meg Whitman and state Attorney General Jerry Brown and for US Senate between Carly Fiorina and Sen. Barbara Boxer.

For those who do not vote absentee, Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find your polling place, or for other election information, consult the Registrar of Voters’ website at www.ocvote.org.

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