Incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris and Diane Dixon ‘look forward’ to clash for 74th Assembly District seat

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 Photos)

Cottie Petrie-Norris and Diane Dixon, running one-two in Tuesday’s primary election for Petrie-Norris’ 74th District seat in the California Assembly, expressed confidence as vote counting continued Wednesday, looking ahead to a face-off in November.

In the most recent count posted by the Orange County registrar of voters office at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) was well ahead with 49.5% of the vote. Dixon, a Republican and Newport Beach councilwoman, was second with 26.8%, while Kelly Ernby, a Huntington Beach Republican who is an Orange County deputy district attorney, had 23.7%.

The top two finishers will head to the general election Nov. 3.

The registrar of voters website said vote-by-mail and vote center ballots were not yet fully reported.

Petrie-Norris, who was elected to her first two-year term in the Assembly in 2018, said she felt confident Wednesday.

“We’re in a strong position going into the upcoming general election, and I look forward to the work ahead,” she said in a statement. “I want to thank the hundreds of people who came out to knock on doors. Volunteering is hard and often thankless work, but these early results are evidence that their work made a huge difference. ... To solve the huge challenges our communities face, we need more people involved and invested in fighting for solutions.”

Dixon said Wednesday that she was pleased with the results so far.

“I look forward to taking the fight to the general election to regain this seat for the people of the 74th Assembly District,” she said in a statement. “We are not Berkeley or Santa Monica, we are the coastal cities of Orange County and we need to return local control and have a representative who reflects the people of this district who does not support the radical left agenda. I look forward to going to Sacramento to restore the two-party system, normalcy, common sense and fiscal responsibility.”

Along with Dixon, Ernby also ran for the Orange County Republican Party Central Committee on Tuesday. They earned two of the six available seats.

“I ran a hard-fought race for state Assembly and the OCGOP Central Committee because I want to bring back conservative values in California,” Ernby said in a statement. “I am pleased to have been elected to serve on the OCGOP Central Committee, where I plan to work to help rebuild the Republican Party.”

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

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6:23 p.m. March 4, 2020: This article was originally published at 4:04 p.m. and has been updated with new information.