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Dixon, Stoaks, Muldoon and Brenner lead in Newport council races

Dixon, Stoaks, Muldoon and Brenner lead in Newport council races
Newport Beach City Council candidates, clockwise from top left: Diane Dixon, Mike Glenn, Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Tim Stoaks, Scott Peotter, Joy Brenner, Kevin Muldoon and Roy Englebrecht. (File Photos)

Incumbents Diane Dixon and Kevin Muldoon are staying on the Newport Beach City Council after Tuesday’s election gave them new four-year terms, but member Scott Peotter was defeated and Marshall “Duffy” Duffield was trailing.

Dixon in District 1 and Muldoon in District 4 easily won their races, but Joy Brenner defeated Peotter in District 6 and Tim Stoaks held a 230-vote advantage over Duffield, the current mayor, with all precincts reporting.

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Each district had a two-person race, with Districts 3 and 6 the hardest-fought as challengers attempted to change the makeup of the seven-member council.

Here are the election standings early Wednesday:

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District 1: Dixon defeated software development company owner Mike Glenn with 60% of the vote. District 1 covers the Balboa Peninsula and Lido Isle.

District 3: Stoaks, an architect and planner, has 12,002 votes, or 50.5%, vs. Duffield’s 11,772. District 3 includes Dover Shores and Santa Ana Heights.

District 4: Muldoon defeated city Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commissioner Roy Englebrecht with 67.2% of the vote. District 4 includes Eastbluff and Big Canyon.

District 6: Brenner, a community activist and former parks commissioner, beat Peotter with 57.4% of the vote. District 6 includes Corona del Mar.

Candidates generally agreed that Newport’s most pressing issues include fiscal discipline, with special attention to paying down unfunded pension liabilities; development and traffic management; and the effects of John Wayne Airport on local neighborhoods.

But the city’s politics have been notably fractured for the past year and a half, starting in April 2017 with a failed attempt to recall Peotter.

In March this year, then-City Manager Dave Kiff announced his intent to leave in August instead of in spring 2019, as previously planned. Kiff’s supporters accused four members of the City Council — Duffield, Peotter, Muldoon and Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill, who is not up for reelection this year — of secretly conspiring to oust the popular Kiff. All four of the council members denied that, as did Kiff.

Over the spring and summer, local council critics filed a string of lawsuits and other complaints against the city or certain council members about campaign finances, the Kiff matter, possible conflicts of interest and what resident-submitted statements should be included in an official informational pamphlet about local ballot initiative Measure T.

Of the three lawsuits and two sets of complaints to the California Fair Political Practices Commission that have been resolved, all the outcomes have favored the city. That includes a conflict of interest case related to Duffield paying Peotter to help him subdivide the site of his Duffy Electric Boat Co. factory in San Bernardino County.

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