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In Newport Beach, three candidates for three spots

The City Council election in November appears to already be decided. The candidates claim it's a sign of voter confidence.

August 13, 2012|By Brittany Woolsey

The Newport Beach City Council election appears to be decided — in August.

For the first time in city history, three candidates are running unopposed for as many open seats in the November election.

Businessman Tony Petros is running for District 2, which covers West Newport.

Councilman Ed Selich is seeking reelection for District 5, which includes Balboa Island.

Mayor Pro Tem Keith Curry is running to keep his District 7 seat, which covers Newport Coast and Newport Ridge.

Council members represent specific areas, but voters can cast ballots across district lines in the at-large election.

Curry viewed the lack of challengers as a referendum on voter confidence in the city's leadership.

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"I think what the number of candidates reflects is that the people of Newport Beach are pretty satisfied with their government," Curry said.

Selich agreed.

"I think the city is fortunate to have a City Council that has formed a consensus of the direction that residents want the city to go in," he said.

Petros, the only member of the candidate trio not in office, was pleased that he will run unopposed, virtually guaranteeing him a four-year term on the council.

"I'm honored and excited with this historic outcome," he said. "I think that, more than anything, it's a real testimony the Newport Beach residents have with the direction of their government, and also speaks to the year-long effort by me to get that into the community."

City Clerk Leilani Brown said nothing about the election process will be different.

"All of [the candidates'] names would appear on the ballot," she said. "Residents are still encouraged to vote."

Brown said there will be a measure on the ballot, which includes various amendments to the city charter, including prohibiting red light cameras, expanding conflict-of-interest protections and refining financial reporting requirements, among other proposed amendments.

Rebuttals to the direct arguments are due Aug. 16.

For more information regarding the election, visit newportbeachca.gov.

dailypilot@latimes.com

Twitter: @TheDailyPilot

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