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Race is on for District 3 candidates

Steve Young, an attorney and Democrat, trades barbs with opponent Ed Reno, a fiscal conservative, in campaign for Newport Beach seat.

February 10, 2010|By Brianna Bailey

Five days into his bid for the Newport Beach District 3 City Council seat, candidate Steve Young has already labeled his opponent Ed Reno as a lobbyist for big business.

Reno answered back by calling Young two words that some consider the equivalent of political cooties this election year: “Obama delegate.”

With two candidates now vying for outgoing Councilman Don Webb’s seat, the race is officially on.

Young, an attorney with a practice in Irvine, said Tuesday that, if elected, he would help create jobs by making Newport a more inviting place for small-business owners.

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He also said he advocates turning the site of the old City Hall on the Balboa Peninsula into a park, once the city follows through with plans to build a new municipal complex in Newport Center.

“I’m running because Washington and Sacramento are both so logger-headed right now that nobody can do anything,” Young said. “The only place you can do anything is in local, nonpartisan races. Recovery is going to come from local government.”

Young, who has lived in Newport Beach since 2003, also questioned his opponent Reno’s motives Tuesday.

Reno is a director of public affairs for the Irvine-based pharmaceutical giant Allergan Inc.

“I’m not sure I want a lobbyist on our city council,” Young said. “Who is he going to be faithful to?”

An avowed fiscal conservative, Reno declared his candidacy in December, flanked by Orange County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh and several members of the Newport Beach City Council.

Reno has raised about $16,000 in campaign contributions, according to campaign disclosure statements.

Reno, a three-year Newport Beach resident, also said he is pro-business.

“As the economy continues to find its legs, we need to be very vigilant in how accommodating the city is to businesses; they’re our economic engine,” Reno said.

He also wants to protect the city from expansion at John Wayne Airport, he said.

Reno drew attention to the fact that Young was a delegate for President Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, making a connection between Obama and tax increases.

“I don’t believe in higher taxes and more regulation,” Reno said.

There’s plenty of time for another candidate to jump into the race for District 3’s open seat.

The deadline to enter the race is Aug. 6.

Council members Nancy Gardner (District 6) and Mike Henn (District 1) also are up for reelection in November, but no challengers have stepped up.

Webb must vacate his District 3 seat due to term limits.


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