Costa Mesa council candidate withdraws

COSTA MESA — After taking out election papers, attorney Christopher Blank announced this week that he has decided against a run for City Council.

"I pulled papers because I definitely am interested in Costa Mesa's politics and I want to do what I can to help the city," he said. "I decided to no longer run because I'm concerned that I wouldn't have time to do a good job running a campaign, and if I win, as a council member, I wouldn't have enough time."

Blank, 52, works as a business and bankruptcy lawyer in Newport Beach. He was one of seven candidates who had so far taken the first step toward a run for council. The news of him leaving the race was first reported on A Bubbling Cauldron, a local blog.

The council has two open seats. Mayor Allan Mansoor is termed out and running for state Assembly. Councilwoman Wendy Leece is running for her second term on the council. A third seat could open up for appointment after the November election if Councilwoman Katrina Foley, who has two years left on her term, is elected to the Newport-Mesa school board.

Blank said he might throw his hat in the ring for an appointment to the City Council if Foley won the school district's seat.

The preliminary list of candidates so far are Christopher Bunyan, a businessman; Chris McEvoy, a high school math teacher; Susan Lester, who's suing the city over its medical marijuana ban; Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer; and Jeffrey Chapman, who could not be reached for biographical information.

Candidates have until Aug. 6 to return their election papers to the city for evaluation to determine if they are qualified for the election ballot.

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