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Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon announces Assembly bid against Petrie-Norris

Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon announces Assembly bid against Petrie-Norris
Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon delivers the 2019 State of the City address in February. (File Photo)

Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon announced Wednesday that she is running for the state’s 74th Assembly District seat in 2020 in a challenge to freshman Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach).

Dixon is serving her second one-year term as Newport’s mayor. She was first elected to the City Council in 2014, representing District 1, covering the Balboa Peninsula and Lido Isle. She was reelected to the council last year.

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“As mayor, I’m well-known as a consensus-builder and a dedicated advocate and fighter for what is right for my constituents. We’ve delivered budget surpluses, paid down pension liabilities, improved public safety and completed infrastructure projects on time and within budget,” Dixon said in a statement. “As the next assemblywoman for the 74th District, I will fight to reduce the burdensome regulations coming out of Sacramento at a furious pace that are taking away local control, to protect law-abiding residents from rising crime and to protect our district’s greatest environmental assets, especially our beaches, harbors and bay.”

Petrie-Norris’ campaign spokesman Derek Humphrey said, “Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris is looking forward to next year’s campaign, but her focus right now is on serving as an effective advocate for the residents and businesses of the 74th Assembly District.”

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“Her attention is on increasing accountability in state government, delivering a fair share of funding for her district and finding common-sense solutions to the problems facing California,” Humphrey said in an email.

Petrie-Norris was elected to the Assembly seat last year over two-term incumbent Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach).

Dixon is a retired business executive who managed global corporate communications for consumer and industrial products manufacturer Avery Dennison.

She has served as chairwoman of Newport’s Water Quality and Tidelands Committee and Finance Committee and is on the board of directors of the Assn. of California Cities-Orange County.

The 74th Assembly District covers Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, southern Huntington Beach and most of Irvine. Dixon already has the endorsement of Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, a fellow Republican who recently announced her candidacy for Congress. Steel’s supervisorial district includes Newport and most of the rest of the 74th Assembly District.

“With a 40-year career in private business, Mayor Diane Dixon is a thoughtful leader who has her finger on the pulse of the 74th District and who has a proven track record of delivering results for her constituents,” Steel said in a statement. “She is the best candidate to represent the needs of the people of Orange County.”

Dixon joins Huntington Beach lawyer Kelly Ernby in challenging Petrie-Norris. Ernby, also a Republican, is an Orange County deputy district attorney and a political newcomer. She announced her candidacy last week and since has received endorsements from Irvine Mayor Christina Shea and Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner, a former Irvine mayor and state assemblyman.

“I’m stepping forward to fight for Orange County families who deserve a genuine, proven leader who will make California pro-business, pro-taxpayer and affordable again, and I will work tirelessly as your advocate to improve the economy, ensure our laws are enforced to protect law-abiding citizens and fight to keep California’s air, land and water clean,” Ernby said in a statement.

This article was originally published at 1:25 p.m. and was later updated with additional information and comments.

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