The death of Assemblyman Richard E. Longshore (R-Santa Ana) the day after he won the Republican primary June 7 set the stage for the heated general-election contest being waged for the open seat in the 72nd Assembly District.
The candidates are Democrat Christian F. (Rick) Thierbach, who ran unopposed in the primary, and Curt Pringle, a vice chairman of the county Republican Central Committee, which selected him as the GOP nominee, replacing Longshore on the ballot.
Both parties are shoveling money into the race. The Republicans consider it their seat, having won it 2 years ago. They want to hold onto it in hope of gaining control of the Legislature when new districts are drawn after 1990. The Democrats want to win in the district, one of the few in Orange County with a Democratic edge in registration, to help keep their majority in the Assembly and to send a Democrat from the county to Sacramento.
Voters will be less concerned about power struggles than about choosing the candidate who will best represent them and their community. That description best fits Thierbach.
A senior deputy district attorney, Thierbach is one of the finest trial deputies in his Riverside County office. He is bright, hard-working and handles its toughest murder cases. He has been cited three times for outstanding work.
He knows the community well. He was raised in the district and has lived in the area for 28 years. And he serves it now as a member of the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Education.
In his professional and public posts, Thierbach has demonstrated leadership and ability. Those much-needed qualities should be put to use in the Assembly.