Peotter Out for Council, Carchio in for Assembly

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Monday night, I had the privilege of being Tom Fuentes’ driver to the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee meeting.

Originally, I had absolutely no interest in attending, except for a fleeting curiosity about the uber-hyped proposed party endorsement of Assemblyman Allan Mansoor in the 74th Assembly District Race, which also includes Newport Beach Councilmember Leslie Daigle and former California Republican Party Treasurer Keith Carlson.  But was not enough to leave my house, my triplets, or my television for.  Plus, I had a friend who was going to text me the result, anyway.

But when my dear friend and mentor, Chairman Emeritus Fuentes, had the opportunity to swear in his son T.J. as an alternate member of the Central Committee, and he would need a ride, that was enough to bring me out into the night …

And, to my surprise, the 30 minutes that I spent there included some very interesting Newport-centric revelations.

The first thing I learned was some intelligence about the upcoming Newport Beach City Council race to replace termed out Councilmember Steve Rosansky.  So far, Tony Petros is the only announced candidate, with rumors of others potential candidates.

Well, one of those rumored potential candidates has officially taken a pass on the race.  Former Newport Beach Planning Commissioner Scott Peotter had been considering the race for many months now, but now will officially be staying in Irvine and throwing his hat into that city’s council race instead.

Scott would have been a considerable threat to Petros with his campaign knowledge, his phenomenal Republican roots, and his pretty extensive knowledge of the inner workings of Newport Beach after serving four years on its Planning Commission.  But he’ll be Irvine’s “problem” now …

The other rumored candidates?  2008 City Council candidate Dr. Gloria Alkire is still considering it, as is Orange County Water District Area 4 Director Steve Sheldon, but there is also plenty of time before the summer’s filing deadline, so we’ll see.

The second and third things I learned have to do with the aforementioned 74th Assembly District Race, so if you don’t care about that one, you can turn to the dining column now …

The potential endorsement of Mansoor had been blown up in the local papers, so of course, the anticipation of the “drama” was pretty palpable.  Should the Party endorse someone so early, before the filing period has closed and with other Republicans in the race?  Is Mansoor really an incumbent, since only 20 percent of the newly re-drawn District was in his old one?

All moot, because lo and behold it turned out that Chairman Scott Baugh, in his opening comments, mentioned only a delay in the Endorsement proceedings for the Costa Mesa City Council candidates – and completely omitted any mention of a 74th Assembly District endorsement …

I later heard Baugh tell Fuentes that it would be better to stay out of that mess.

Instead, Baugh congratulated Mansoor for winning the Republican Party of Orange County’s 2011 Legislator of the Year award …

OK … instead of the endorsement, he got a plaque.

Lastly I learned that the 74th Assembly District Race seems to have gotten more crowded. Baugh always gives Elected Officials and those running for office the opportunity to introduce themselves to the crowd.  When former Huntington Beach Mayor and Councilmember Joe Carchio introduced himself, he threw in “Candidate” for the 74th Assembly District among his credentials, which prompted Baugh to remark how crowded that field has become.

I confirmed what I heard with Mansoor and later exchanged some emails with Daigle, who wrote that Baugh had previously told her that Carchio wasn’t going to run, but I suppose he changed his mind.

If Carchio stays in, the entire dynamic of this race completely changes and drastically improves Daigle’s chances.  Instead of just facing off against Mansoor and Carlson, Daigle will have three opponents to split the vote and let the only Republican female slide right through the Open Primary to the General Election, where she wins for sure.

If I’m Daigle, I’d start working the phones to see if there are any other Republican males living in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach or Irvine willing to sacrifice themselves and join in the fun, while discouraging any Republican, or Democratic, females from jumping in.

The Newport Beach City Council might as well start looking for another person to appoint to Daigle’s soon-to-be vacated City Council seat if “Jersey” Joe stays in.

So that was quite a half-hour, huh?

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