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Rush Hill to seek reelection

Newport mayor is the only council incumbent on the November ballot.

February 18, 2014|By Emily Foxhall
  • Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill speaks at the 33rd annual Mayor's Dinner.
Newport Beach Mayor Rush Hill speaks at the 33rd annual… (David Kawashima )

The mayor of Newport Beach will be among those contending for a seat on the City Council in November, when four of the seven positions will be open.

Rush Hill, who was first elected to the council in 2010, kicked off his reelection campaign Feb. 8 with a wine and cheese party at his home.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and State Board of Equalization member Michelle Steel, who is running for county supervisor, attended, offering brief remarks to a crowd of about 50 people.

Hill, who is running in District 3, will be the only current council member on the ballot.

Council members Mike Henn, Leslie Daigle and Nancy Gardner, representing districts 1, 4 and 6, respectively, are prohibited from running again since they will reach their term limits at the end of this year.

Councilman Tony Petros, in District 2, will face reelection in 2016 if he wishes to remain in office. Councilman Keith Curry, who will vacate his seat if he is elected to the state Assembly this fall, will reach his term limit at that time, as will Councilman Ed Selich.

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Council members serve four-year terms, and, per the city charter, cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

Hill said he hopes to remain on the council to continue seeing through initiatives like the development of the Lido House Hotel, a boutique hotel that would be located at the former city hall site, and the John Wayne Airport settlement agreement, which aims to limit the noise in the neighborhood by setting guidelines for curfews and the number of travelers.

"We have so much momentum built up in projects that are very important to the city," he said in an interview Monday.

Hill also hopes to continue work on the ideas that he plans to launch this year, including the development of a new public golf course at the Coyote Canyon landfill and a pilot project that would, if approved, convert the mooring can system in the harbor to floating docks.

"My goal is to be able to see those through and have them be viable institutionalized activities by the end of my second term," he said.

Hill grew up in Orange County and has lived in Newport Beach since 1975. Before that, he served as an education advisor and special assistant to then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in Sacramento, according to his city biography.

The mayor holds bachelor's degrees in architecture and business administration from Cal Poly San Luis Obsipo and is a licensed architect.

He owns Newport Resource Management, which he said advises public and private clients in real estate strategies.

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