Tuesday's special election to fill the 48th Congressional District
seat will be an open primary -- any registered voter can vote for any
one of the 17 candidates on the ballot, regardless of party
If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes, he or she
will be declared the winner. If no candidate gets the required
majority, the top vote-getters in each party will qualify for a
run-off on Dec. 6.
Libertarian, Green and American Independent parties are vying for the
Congressional seat left vacant when Christopher Cox became the head
The 48th District is considered to be solidly Republican. However,
with 10 Republicans competing for Cox's long-held seat, a majority
may be hard to win.
The order of names on the ballot is decided randomly.
Former Assemblywoman Marilyn C. Brewer and state Sen. John
Campbell are the front-runners in Tuesday's election and the two top
fundraisers, according to the most recent financial reports. Their
campaign literature appears in local mailboxes almost daily, and
their representatives spoke at the recent meeting of the Laguna Beach
Brewer's stand on same-sex partnerships resonates in Laguna Beach.
"Marilyn believes in the continuation of domestic partnerships and
civil unions -- John does not," said Frank Ricchiazzi, a member of
the Log Cabin Republicans.
"I know both of them personally, and I will not be making an
endorsement," he added. "But anybody who doesn't vote on Tuesday --
don't complain if we have a very conservation representative for the
next few years or a mainstream representative."
Ricchiazzi said the 18% of city voters who decline to state party
affiliation will be the key to the upcoming election.
"Marilyn respects the rights of individuals," said campaign
director James Vaughn, a resident of Laguna. "And she shares with
Nancy Reagan support for embryonic stem cell research. John Campbell
Brewer is supported by Arizona Sen. John McCain.
"You have been well served by Chris Cox, and you will be very well
served by John Campbell, specifically in leadership," Campbell
campaign staffer Michelle Hart said. "He looked for solutions that
did not include raising taxes. And he fought for basic-aid school
Laguna Beach is one of only a handful of basic-aid districts in
California. Such districts depend on local property taxes rather than
Mayor Elizabeth Pearson and council members Steven Dicterow and
Cheryl Kinsman have endorsed Campbell, as has the state Republican
With a Republican victory probable -- if not on Tuesday, then in
December -- some prominent local Democrats are supporting Brewer.
"As a believer in pro-choice and stem cell research, I am
absolutely supporting Marilyn Brewer," Councilwoman Toni Iseman said.
Crossover voting is not without precedent in Laguna Beach.
Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 7,146 to 6,652, according
to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
However, roughly 60 percent of local voters marked their ballots
for John Kerry in the last Presidential election, while the rest of
Orange County gave President Bush his highest margin of victory in
"Because the district is so heavily Republican, this is the one
shot Democrats and 'decline-to-states' have to make a difference,"
Ricchiazzi said. "That's the bottom line in this election."
In 2002, Laguna Beach had a total of 18,647 registered voters, and
14,522 of them voted -- 5,125 by absentee ballot.
For the upcoming election, 10 polling places will be staffed from
7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters will find the locations for this election on
the back of their sample ballots. Voters may also contact the Orange
County Registrar of Voters online or call the Laguna Beach city
clerk's office at (949) 497-0705.
Should voters in a primary election be able to cast ballots for
candidates outside their own party affiliation? Write us at P.O. Box
248, Laguna Beach, CA, 92652, e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org f7or fax us at 494-8979. Please give
your name and tell us your home address and phone number for
verification purposes only.
CANDIDATES IN HOUSE RACE
MARILYN C. BREWER
Republican Business owner Former state Assemblywoman
Republican Businessman State Senator
Libertarian Realtor/small- business man
DAVID R. CROUCH
American Independent No ballot designation
Democrat University business professor
Republican Merchant/ businessman
GUY E. MAILLY
Republican Businessman/ attorney
MARSHA A. MORRIS
Republican Realtor/ businesswoman
Democrat Marketing consultant
MARSHALL SAMUEL SANDERS
EDWARD A. SUPPE
Republican No ballot designation
Green Public school teacher
Democrat Small-business man/ attorney
Republican Physician/surgeon/ businessman