Today we saw a little shake up in Orange County (and Southwest Los Angeles County) politics. Republican Troy Edgar, the Mayor of Los Alamitos announced that he now running for the newly created 72nd Assembly District, a “safe” Republican seat that is located in Northwest Orange County. Edgar is a private business owner — with two companies, a construction firm and business consulting firm.
There were already three Republicans running in the 72nd — Hungtington Beach City Councilmember and former state YR Chairman Matt Harper, Long Pham, and Westminster Councilman Typer Diep — although rumors have been swirling for a couple of weeks that Diep going to be dropping out of the race for personal reasons.
If Diep gets out of the race as is expected, it replaces the candidate with the most campaign cash on hand (Diep has topped $150k) and replaces it with a candidate in Edgar who starts out with over $300k in his campaign account. In announcing his candidacy for the 72nd District, Edgar has the endorsements of Congressman Ed Royce, State Senator Tom Harman and Assemblyman Jim Silva, Los Alamitos Councilmembers Marilynn Poe and Ken Stevens and some other local electeds.
Edgar’s toughest primary foe will be Matt Harper, who has the endorsement of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, his Republican colleagues on the Huntington Beach City Council. Harper, a GOP activist for two decades has an endorsement list that is quite long. That said, the last campaign finance reporting window closed with Harper looking pretty anemic on the fundraising side — though he has a major event coming up.
Unless Harper is able to significant step it up on the fundraising side, Edgar becomes a prohibitive frontrunner at this point. Pham would need to post some big bucks raised to engage in this battle.
Of course if Diep ends up staying in the race, then anything is possible — including at that point a seemingly irresistable opportunity for the SEIU or AFL CIO to weigh in, given the impact of Prop. 14 on the election process.
This news will be very welcome to the ears of moderate Republican Gary DeLong, a member of the Long Beach City Council, who is running for Congress in the 47th District which leans Democrat, but a strong GOPer could win. Until today Edgar had been a candidate for that House seat, and in fact had the most money raised. Edgar’s departure clears the GOP side of the aisle for DeLong.