Righeimer to run for council

COSTA MESA — Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer confirmed months of rumors Friday by announcing that he plans to run for City Council.

Righeimer plans to seek the seat being vacated by Mayor Allan Mansoor, who is termed out and running for state Assembly.

“I think he would do a great job representing our city,” Mansoor said. “He put a lot of time and effort on the Planning Commission, he knows the issues and I think he would take our city in a good direction and show great leadership.”

Righeimer, 51, said that he and about 30 supporters will go to City Hall on Tuesday morning to pull papers for his 2010 electoral bid. It would be his second council campaign since 2008.

“We have to get everybody working together,” he said. “One of the things I’ve shown over the last four years on the Planning Commission is that I’m able to get everyone to work together.”

Righeimer is a former Daily Pilot columnist.

The candidate said he plans to lay out his vision for the city and what he hopes to accomplish as a councilman. But he declined to provide details, saying he preferred to share them Tuesday.

Righeimer, who chairs the Planning Commission, is chief executive of Newport Beach-based LMC Management Group, LLC, a real estate company he started in 1994. He has a bachelor’s degree in business from Pepperdine University.

His Planning Commission term expires in February.

Righeimer lived in Fountain Valley for 18 years before he, his wife and their three daughters moved to Costa Mesa four years ago.

“I live in this city, and I care about this city,” he said. “I don’t make money off of it. I have a wife and kids that are growing up in the city, and I’m never moving.”

Righeimer’s involvement with city politics hasn’t been without controversy. Councilwoman Katrina Foley publicly stated in May that he threatened to break up the Orange County Fairgrounds sale negotiations with the state if the council didn’t provide him with a venue to be involved with the process.

In response to the accusation, Righeimer said Friday it was a “private conservation” and did not want to talk about it publicly.

His background in real estate, which he got into after running out of money at age 19, would greatly benefit the city, he said.

“I think the one big issue is a long-term vision and how we decide to do things,” he said. “We don’t just look at tomorrow or the next day. We look at the next 10 or 20 years out.”

Mansoor, who is campaigning for the state Assembly seat being vacated by Van Tran (R-Westminster), and who has received financial support from Righeimer for his Assembly run, said he supports Righeimer’s bid for the City Council.

The mayor’s seat is one of two on the council up for election Nov. 2. Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece has announced that she is running for reelection, and high school teacher Chris McEvoy has also declared his candidacy for one of those two council seats.