Hill endorses Daigle, blasts Bob Rush

Newport Beach Councilman Rush Hill on Monday endorsed Councilwoman Leslie Daigle in her bid for state Assembly and strongly criticized one of her opponents in the race, Democrat Robert "Bob" Rush.

Hill stated in a press release issued by the Daigle campaign that his peer on the council is best suited to represent the 74th District, which includes Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Irvine.

"I've worked closely with Leslie on the most important issues facing our city — cutting our budget to live within our means, pension reform, more effective approaches to service delivery, and encouraging economic growth — and she is serious about finding solutions and effective in forging alliances on the council," he said.

Both Hill and Daigle are Republicans. Hill is viewed as conservative while Daigle is viewed as moderate on some issues and conservative on others.

"Her instincts are consistently conservative, but her approach to problem-solving is open, constructive, creative and collegial," Hill said. "In that respect, she reminds me of the best qualities of Ronald Reagan."

Hill served an education advisor to Reagan when he was governor of California.

"Rush Hill's history and standing in our community is legendary, and I deeply value and appreciate his support, counsel and friendship," Daigle said.

Daigle is challenging incumbent Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) for the seat. The former mayor of Costa Mesa, Mansoor has the endorsement of the Orange County Republican Party.

Hill made no mention of Mansoor in the prepared statement but didn't mince words about the other candidate in the race, Rush, a real estate investor and frequent City Hall critic. Rush switched his voter registration from decline to state to Democrat shortly before the race's filing deadline.

"His entire campaign so far has focused on criticism of Leslie, which is his right in America," Hill said. "But voters should be aware of his opportunistic party change and limited negative campaign focus. Several years ago he similarly financed an independent expenditure campaign against City Councilman Steve Rosansky that ultimately failed."

Some observers believe Rush is trying to siphon moderate and liberal votes from Daigle, who touts her environmental record, in the June 5 open primary. The two top vote-getters will move onto the November general election.

Rush fired back with a statement of his own after learning of Hill's comments.

"This endorsement is no surprise to me," Rush said. "Daigle and Hill, along with Rosansky and [Councilman Mike] Henn, are cut from the same cloth, as they have been recently under investigation or found in violation of ethics or government codes. This has created public mistrust. The voters of the 74th Assembly District will see this for what it is, politics at their worst. This is the very reason why I decided to run for office and we must put an end to such sleazy politics."

The state Fair Political Practices Commission earlier this year found council members in Newport Beach and several other Orange County cities in violation of a code that prohibits them from voting on their own appointments to commissions. After the warning was issued, the FPPC changed its policy, allowing such votes to take place in the future.


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