Petrie-Norris and Dixon in top two spots in early returns in 74th Assembly District race

Candidates for the 74th Assembly District seat are, from left, incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris, Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon and Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby.
(File Photo)

Cottie Petrie-Norris and Diane Dixon were in the top two spots in the race for Petrie-Norris’ 74th District seat in the California Assembly as early results came in for Tuesday’s primary election.

Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) had 49.2% of the vote as of 1:05 a.m. Wednesday, with 64% of precincts reporting. Dixon (R-Newport Beach) had 27%. The top two vote-getters among the three candidates in the race advance to the general election Nov. 3.

Republican Kelly Ernby, an Orange County deputy district attorney from Huntington Beach, wasn’t far behind Dixon, with 23.8% of the vote.


The Orange County registrar of voters website projects the next results update at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The 74th District includes Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Laguna Woods.

Petrie-Norris won her first two-year term in the Assembly in 2018, displacing Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach). She has served as chairwoman of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and a member of the appropriations, judiciary, veterans affairs and revenue and taxation committees. Before being elected, Petrie-Norris worked in marketing for Capital One, American Express and two start-ups. She also was an organizer for local progressive groups.

Dixon is in her second four-year term as a Newport Beach City Council member representing the Balboa Peninsula and Lido Isle area. She most recently was elected to the council in 2018 and served her second stint as mayor in 2019. Before running for elected office, Dixon spent 30 of her 40 years in the private sector with Avery Dennison, retiring in 2011 as an executive responsible for the company’s global communications, marketing communications and corporate philanthropy.

Vote percentages for 74th Assembly District candidates (as of 1:05 a.m. Wednesday)
Diane Dixon: 27%
Kelly Ernby: 23.8%
Cottie Petrie-Norris (incumbent): 49.2%

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6:36 a.m. March 4, 2020: This article was originally published at 9:04 p.m. Tuesday and has been updated with new information.