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Politics stay friendly at Chamber

H.B. business group hosts discussion with state assembly candidates.

October 10, 2012|By Jill Cowan

Local state assembly candidates kept it polite Wednesday night at a reception hosted by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Newport Beach businessman Bob Rush, who are the two candidates running for the newly-redrawn 74th District seat, each spoke briefly to the small gathering of about 25 chamber members at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort.

The event, which organizers said was more of a meet-and-greet than a forum, was missing the kind of fiery debate that characterized some of the 74th District candidates' pre-primary meetings. Candidates took their allotted five minutes as opportunities more to introduce themselves than to get into nitty gritty policy.

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Mansoor, a conservative Republican, represents the old 68th District. Rush, who described himself as "a radical centrist," is running as a Democrat. The newly redrawn 74th District encompasses parts or all of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach.

District 72 candidates Troy Edgar and Travis Allen, both Republicans, also spoke. The 72nd District includes the rest of Huntington Beach and extends northwest.

Mansoor talked first about his background as a Costa Mesa city councilman, then turned to his economic priorities as a state legislator.

"Pensions are a ticking time bomb in our state that really need to be addressed," he said, speaking not from the podium like the other candidates, but off to the side.

He said that there was still much work to be done in terms of pension reform after November, but "whether you send me up there or any of us up there, if you don't have the votes to get true reform done, we're kind of spinning our wheels."

One solution, he said, would be passing Proposition 32 which would help "bring people to Sacramento who truly want to reform our state."

Mansoor closed by saying his "door is always open." He did not directly mention his opponent.

Rush, who spoke for a few minutes longer than the other candidates before event organizers reminded him his time was up, underlined his position as a social progressive and fiscal conservative. He also emphasized his diverse experience in the private sector, which has included stints at Price Waterhouse and Co., and Pacific Life Insurance Co.

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