Daigle expected to challenge Mansoor for Assembly

Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle confirmed Wednesday that she is weighing a run for the state Legislature that could pit her against Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) in the June 2012 Republican primary.

“I am seriously exploring a run for the Assembly,” she said. “We need to work together to find true solutions for jobs and the economy. People are tired of the stalemates of Sacramento and Washington, D.C. The engine is leadership. We need it to support all the cities in the district.”

Daigle, 49, is eyeing the newly redistricted 73rd Assembly District, which includes sections of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Woods.

The nominal incumbent, Assemblyman Don Wagner, Daigle said, is expected to run in another district. Mansoor, a former Costa Mesa mayor and Orange County sheriff’s deputy, is expected to seek reelection in the newly carved district that includes some of his current territory.

Daigle, a telecommunications consultant, considers herself fiscally prudent but also a proud environmentalist who has advocated for efforts to clean up the bay and improve Orange County coastal waters.

“As a member of the City Council Finance Committee, I’ve worked to reduce the size of government, build our reserves and reduce our operating costs,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. It’s rolling up our sleeves. It’s working together.”

Daigle has served for six years on the Newport Beach City Council. She said she was inspired to run because of the state’s poor fiscal and environmental health.

“I love Newport Beach,” she said, “and continue to be challenged on the council, but am considering this run to try to influence Sacramento to embrace the approaches the city has taken in these difficult times.”

Daigle said she has a willingness to cut spending, deliver basic services and control pension costs.

She also said she wants to help the state economy but not “punish our economic health by imposing higher taxes.”

Though not officially in the race, the Orange County Register was first to report that Daigle held a campaign fundraiser Wednesday.

Twitter: @JohnCanalis