"I believe his heart is in the right place, even if his mouth
isn't," Zippi said. "I'm not taking his name off my endorsement
Nichols, while discussing improvements to Corona del Mar State
Beach with a Daily Pilot reporter last month, said he opposed adding
more grassy areas because "with grass, we usually get Mexicans coming
in there early in the morning, and they claim it as theirs, and it
becomes their personal, private grounds all day."
On Tuesday, the Newport Beach City Council reprimanded Nichols for
his remark, but decided not to strip him of his committee
Assemblyman Ken Maddox has also decided to keep Nichols'
endorsement. Maddox is running against Campbell for the 35th District
state Senate seat. In a June 30 press release, Maddox touted Nichols'
endorsement along with 23 other city council members in Orange
County, including Newport Beach Councilman Gary Proctor.
"I disagree with his initial comments," Maddox said through
campaign consultant Wayne Johnson. "They do not reflect my views."
Maddox sent cards to each of the council members in the district
earlier this year seeking their support, Johnson said. Nichols and
Proctor, in addition to Costa Mesa Councilman Allan Mansoor, lent
When contacted Wednesday, Nichols said he supported Zippi because
she is "a personal friend," but said he hopes Zippi opponent Chuck
DeVore wins the seat because "he would make a good Assemblyman."
Nichols also said he supported Maddox over Campbell because Costa
Mesa's Assemblyman is "a very straightforward guy."
"I like Campbell, but Campbell has made some endorsements that are
questionable," Nichols said. "He appointed a Log Cabin member. ...
Ken Maddox doesn't have any around-the-back maneuverers."
In 2000, Campbell appointed Laguna Beach resident Frank
Ricchiazzi, the openly gay co-founder of the Log Cabin Republicans,
as a delegate to the California Republican Party.
Campbell campaign consultant Chris Wysocki said he was stunned by
"If Ken Maddox wants to associate himself with a racist and bigot,
he's more than welcome to," Wysocki said. "The only reason
Republicans have a foothold in Laguna Beach is because of the work
Frank Ricchiazzi has done."
Nichols, who is a member of the conservative grass-roots group
California Republican Assembly, also took aim at the Lincoln Club of
Orange County, a local GOP fund-raiser.
"They are not a bona fide Republican group," Nichols said.
The councilman also accused the group of backing nonconservative
"He's hit the trifecta," Wysocki said, in response. "This guy
sounds like somebody who's lost touch with reality and isn't
interested in electing Republicans."
* PAUL CLINTON covers the environment, business and politics. He
may be reached at (949) 764-4330 or by e-mail at