NEWPORT BEACH — The GOP elephant looks like it might stomp on former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo's head. That symbolism would be simple enough, but Ed Reno's latest mailer asks reader to make a couple leaps.
If elected to Newport Beach City Council, the thinking goes, his opponent Rush Hill would concede so much to public employees that Newport might go completely corrupt: the city of "Bell by the Bay," it says.
As in other local contests, the Republican Party has staked out its candidate in this year's elections here, and has tied its support to pension reform and union campaign contributions. But it remains to be seen if this type of party establishment backing will help or hurt Reno, who is in a non-partisan contest against Rush Hill, a long-time local civic actor.
"Ed has run a very partisan campaign, and Rush has focused on more local, community-based issues," said Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, who is up for reelection and is supported by the Republican Party of Orange County.