Speak Up Newport has invited all the candidates to appear at the next SUN seminar and present their cases on why they should receive your vote for these two important positions in the June Primary Election.
Some of the candidates are familiar to Newport Beach residents while others are new.
The SUN candidates program will be held on Wednesday, April 13, at the Civic Center Community Room, 100 civic Center Dr. in Newport Beach. Reception starts at 5:15 p.m., program is 6 to 7 p.m.
Can’t make the meeting? Speak Up Newport will be simulcasting the event on Zoom. To participate in this FREE Webinar please register at:
The program will feature 72ND Assembly District candidates Diane Dixon, Judie Mancuso and Benjamin Yu, and 5th District County Supervisor candidates
Pat Bates, Katrina Foley, Diane Harkey and Kevin Muldoon.
72nd District Candidates:
Diane Dixon: Diane Dixon spent 40 years in the private sector as a business executive before being elected to the Newport Beach City Council in 2014. She served two terms as Mayor, and has served as Chair of the Water Quality and Tidelands Committee and as Chair of the Finance Committee.
Fiscal responsibility and government transparency have been the hallmarks of her time at City Hall. Diane’s leadership has helped her city deliver budget surpluses, pay down pension liabilities, improve public safety, and complete infrastructure projects on time and within budget and greater cooperation between residents, businesses, and government to resolve community problems.
Diane has actively engaged city residents, holding more than 30 town hall meetings, working closely with local business owners and residents to solve community problems, and initiating numerous neighborhood and community improvement programs. She has worked to successfully add citizen members to the City’s Finance Committee and other council committees and launch independent audits of City projects.
A regional leader, Diane is the immediate past President of the Association of California Cities-Orange County. She is a current member of the regional council of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and a board member of Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG).
Diane has been an active member on several philanthropic community-based boards of directors for nearly four decades, including United Way Orange County, YMCA, public television, USC Board of Councilors and Alumni Association, educational institutions, child service agencies, and health-related organizations.
During her 40-year business career, she spent 30 years as a senior executive at a Fortune 300 public company, where she was responsible for the company’s global communications, marketing and financial communications, and corporate philanthropy.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in political science from the University of Southern California.
Diane has been married for 46 years to Pat Dixon, a career prosecutor who currently serves as Special Counsel to the Orange County District Attorney. Diane and Pat’s daughter, Colleen, is a former prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Colleen and her husband, Graves, are the parents of Diane and Pat’s three grandsons.
Judie Mancuso: Judie Mancuso founded nonprofits to protect and save animals and has led organized opposition against some of the world’s largest special interest groups to stop legislation that would negatively impact animals and the environment.
In 2019, Mancuso was named in the top ten of the top 100 most influential people in Orange County.
In 2021, Mancuso was voted Vice Chair of the Laguna Beach Environmental Sustainability Committee. Mancuso was appointed by the Laguna Beach City Council as a member of the Environmental Sustainability Committee for a second two-year term, which she is currently serving.
She was appointed by the Speaker of the State Assembly as a public member to the California Veterinary Medical Board in July 2010, where she served the maximum of two four-year terms.
Mancuso’s early career was spent in the Information Technology industry over a span of 20 years. She led large teams of engineers in designing and developing enterprise-wide business software systems to run Fortune 500 companies. Since then, Mancuso has dedicated her leadership and management skills to building coalitions that advocate to pass legislation which protects animals and the environment while working to stop harmful legislative attempts.
She now offers all her years of leadership skills and experience in business and politics to the voters of Assembly District 72.
Benjamin Yu: Benjamin Yu is a husband, father, Army veteran, businessman and community activist.
Immigrating to NYC as teenager with a few dollars, he worked various jobs to support his family. While attending college and working for a Wall Street firm both full-time, he joined the Army in the aftermath of 9/11. From New England, to America heartland, to Pacific Northwest, he came across continental United States while serving his country and raising a family. Eventually, he moved to OC for its excellent education, safe neighborhoods and beautiful coast and weather.
Today, he chairs his city traffic commission and serves on boards of several organizations. His family and businesses have regularly contributed to local communities, law enforcement, nonprofits for veteran, elderly, disabled and disadvantaged family, especially during recent challenging time.
Growing up in humbled neighborhood, and always challenging and elevating myself, he is living his American Dream with hard work and opportunities. However, retirees and working families alike have faced increasing crimes, skyrocketing inflation, unaffordable housing and heavy tax burdens. The elites and their failed policies in Sacramento have exacerbated homeless crisis, labor shortage for small businesses, and deteriorating public education. Now, it’s pivotal to choose an independent representation with fresh perspective, energy and diverse experiences to fight for every people.
5th District County Supervisor
Pat Bates: Pat Bates has served the people of Orange County in numerous key roles. She helped turn Laguna Niguel into an incorporated city in 1989 and won a seat on its first city council, earning election as the first mayor. From 1998 to 2004, Bates served as a California State Assemblymember. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
appointed her to serve on his California Performance Review Commission to provide recommendations on reforming state government. Bates is a Founder of the California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA).
In 2006, Bates became the fourth woman to win the election to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. She served from 2007 to 2014 and worked to protect taxpayers and improve the county’s fiscal outlook; create business-friendly policies to attract jobs; maintain high levels of public safety; shorten the timeline for delivery of transportation projects; implement pension reforms; and protect the environment.
In the Senate, Bates champions taxpayers by defending Proposition 13 (which limits property tax increases) from efforts to gut it and opposing unnecessary tax and fee increases. She is a strong supporter of law enforcement and has authored several key public safety measures to make every community safer. She successfully worked across party lines to lower the cost of building needed medical facilities that serve veterans and military personnel afflicted with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions.
Protecting the environment in a fiscally responsible manner is one of Bates’ priorities. She has supported measures to address ocean acidification; integrate scientific data concerning the impact of climate change into state infrastructure engineering, and reinforce opposition to new oil leases near the coast.
Katrina Foley: Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was historically elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors in a 2021 special election. During her first year on the board, Supervisor Foley has used her decades of local experience to stand up to Sacramento, respond to city needs after years of neglect by her predecessors, and deliver results for our community. Supervisor Foley is seeking re-election in the newly redrawn District 5, which runs from Costa Mesa down the coast through San Clemente.
As the incumbent Supervisor, Katrina Foley is prepared to continue serving the people of Orange County, and ready to build upon the progress she has made thus far. Her accomplishments include: advocating for small businesses, championing climate action, creating solutions to reduce homelessness, improving the access and quality of mental healthcare, and increasing neighborhood safety. Additionally, Supervisor Foley has served as a watchdog over our tax dollars against no bid contracts and successfully improved efficiency throughout county government, while returning over $8 million in property taxes to Orange County homeowners.
Supervisor Foley previously served as the first directly elected Mayor of Costa Mesa, as well as a Costa Mesa Councilmember & Newport Mesa School Board Trustee. In addition to her public service, Foley is a successful attorney and businesswoman. Her regional experience is diverse as she served as Board Member for Travel Costa Mesa, Chair of the Coast Community College Measure M Oversight Committee, and as a director on several regional boards including, the Orange County Women Lawyers Association, Orange County Head Start, Girl Scouts of Orange County, and the Toll Corridor Association.
Foley currently serves on the County Group Home/Sober Living and Airport Ad Hoc Committees, Fly Friendly working group, and numerous other boards including: the Orange County Transportation Authority, CalOptima, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Law Library, Newport Bay & South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committee & Santa Ana River Flood Control Protection Agency.
Diane Harkey: Diane Harkey was first elected to office in a sweeping victory in 2004, where she served four years on the Dana Point City Council, and as Mayor of the city. In 2008 she was elected overwhelmingly to California’s State Legislature, representing the 73rd District of South Orange County, succeeding Mimi Walters who was elected to the State Senate in the same year. In 2014 she was elected to California’s State Board of Equalization, serving Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial Counties, was elected unanimously by her peers as first Republican Chair of the Board in 15 years.
Diane graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to her service in politics, she enjoyed a successful 30-year career in corporate finance and banking. Working in good and bad economic climates with individuals, small business owners, and leaders of publicly traded companies helped form the pragmatic business perspective that Harkey brings to any elected office.
For her constituents in general, she has capitalized on her private and public sector experience to promote the rights and interests of all taxpayers. Through numerous business, tax and non-profit workshops and seminars, and outreach programs, Harkey advocated for policies that support job creation in the private sector, improve California’s state budget outlook, and reduce the burden of complying with government audits and various tax regulations.
She is a proponent of public safety and a strong and vociferous supporter of law enforcement. Harkey also is an advocate for the mentally ill and those in need in the homeless population.
Kevin Muldoon: Kevin Muldoon is the Mayor of Newport Beach. Raised in Orange County, Kevin graduated from Chapman University School of Law and Loyola Marymount University, where he was awarded the Dr. Singleton Award for Excellence in Economics.
He worked in The White House Office of Strategic Initiatives before he was admitted to the State Bar of California to practice law as a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s office. He currently works for a local technology company and advises numerous startups.
Kevin sits on the Board of the Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton and is an Advisory Board member to Crime Survivors, an advocacy and assistance organization for victims of violent crimes.
Kevin and his wife Heather have a two-year-old son, Cannon, and are expecting a baby girl in June.