Former Huntington Beach Mayor Jill Hardy, who recently entered the City Council race for November, has gotten a pair of thumbs-up from local activists.
Kim Kramer, leader of the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., and David Rice, president of HB Neighbors, both declared their support for Hardy shortly after the city clerk's office declared the final list of candidates Aug. 10.
"We will certainly be supporting Jill Hardy for City Council," Kramer said. "She is intelligent, competent and experienced. With all of the fiscal issues facing our city in the next four years, former Mayor Hardy is exactly the person we need to deal with those challenges."
He added that his group would endorse two other candidates before the Nov. 6 election. Three seats are open on the dais this year, with incumbent Devin Dwyer seeking reelection, and Keith Bohr and Mayor Don Hansen to be termed out.
In recent years, Kramer's grass-roots association has campaigned to save Triangle Park and the Main Street Library. It also compiled a report on alcohol-related crime issues downtown, among other activities. In 2010, it put together elaborate profiles of the City Council candidates on its website.
Rice, who noted that he was speaking for himself and not his group, gave his support to Hardy and former Mayor Dave Sullivan, who entered the race on the last day before deadline.
"We believe that both Dave and Jill represent the interests of the residents," said Rice, whose group aims to limit downtown expansion and has taken a stance against new alcohol licenses in the area.
Rice added that he wished more residents would pay attention to the local candidates running for office.
"The local City Council candidates impact our lives far more than the state and federal appointees," he said. "These guys are the ones deciding whether Walmart gets built next door or changing land use. They're the ones who are influencing our daily lives, and we spend very little time figuring out who's who. I think that's very unfortunate."
Hardy, reached Friday, said she was grateful for the endorsements.
"It doesn't surprise me that people who have concerns about the downtown neighborhood want a candidate who will listen to them when there's an issue they're concerned about," she said.
Councilwoman Connie Boardman also wrote in an email that she is endorsing Hardy.
Bohr said that he would endorse three candidates and had already decided on Dwyer and Planning Commissioner Barbara Delgleize. Others on the dais said they would announce their endorsements in the coming weeks.