First-time politician announces campaign for Huntington Beach City Council

Cody Cleary has announced a run for Huntington Beach City Council.
Cody Cleary has announced a run for Huntington Beach City Council.
(Courtesy of Cody Cleary)
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Cody Cleary has announced he is running for Huntington Beach City Council this fall.

The 30-year-old is running for public office for the first time.

“I never really thought I’d lead my career to politics,” he said. “But living in this city, it’s been pretty diverse right now. Everyone’s divided on pretty big issues ... and I just felt like it was time for me to step up and be a voice for my community.”

Cleary, who is gay, said his background is in the entertainment and restaurant industries. He been a promoter for pageants and put on big events for the gay community.

In Huntington Beach, he has kept track of recent battles over the public library, as well as Measure B, a charter amendment that passed in March and states that only government and military flags may be flown on city property, excluding the LGBTQ+ Pride flag.


“I want to really give a spot at the table for the marginalized communities and the LGBTQ community,” he said, adding that affordable housing units and lower taxes are top priorities of his.

Three spots will be up for grabs in the November City Council election. Incumbents Dan Kalmick, Natalie Moser and Rhonda Bolton, who currently comprise a Democratic minority, are each expected to run for another term.

Kalmick, Moser and Bolton face opposition from former U.S. Navy Seal Chad Williams and current Planning Commissioners Don Kennedy and Butch Twining, who are running as a group. They seek to take the spots and turn the City Council into an all-conservative panel.

Former mayors Erik Peterson and Kim Carr have also filed candidate intention statements since the 2022 election, though Carr said she is not running. Amory Hanson, Brian Burley, Shawn Kirby, Marissa Jackson and Hector Valdez are the other potential candidates who have filed candidate intention statements since the last election.

Candidates may officially declare for the November election between July 15 and Aug. 9.