H.B. leaders consider political moves

Two Huntington Beach councilmen are looking to take on bigger roles in Orange County.

Mayor Pro Tem Matthew Harper is considering running for the 74th Assembly District, while Councilman Joe Carchio is contemplating throwing his name into the Orange County Board of Supervisors election.

This comes on the heels of Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s (R-Costa Mesa) consideration of replacing Supervisor John Moorlach in the 2nd District, an area that encompasses Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

The mayor pro tem said he is looking at two routes: If Mansoor decides to seek reelection in the state assembly, Harper would support that decision and run for Mansoor’s position when his term ends in 2016. Alternatively, if the assemblyman chooses to run for county supervisor, Harper would look to succeed him in his state seat in 2014.

The 74th Assembly District covers portions of Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach.

“Huntington Beach needs a strong conservative representative, one that understands Huntington Beach and Orange County,” Harper said. “With my experience on the high school board for 12 years, on City Council and my experience with the county, that puts me in the best position to effectively represent Huntington Beach in the state Legislature.”

Besides his work with the City Council, Harper serves on the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors. He also has some experience with the county, serving as Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s deputy chief of staff.

Harper said he was surprised when he heard Mansoor was considering vying for a supervisor seat.

“My plan is to run for reelection, but if Allan Mansoor should decide not to run for reelection, then I would run [for the district],” he said.

Harper’s council colleague Joe Carchio is also considering a move. He sent exploratory letters last week to those in the political community, asking if he should run for a supervisor seat.

“I’m waiting for their responses,” said Carchio, whose term on the City Council ends in 2014. “If it comes back positive, I will make an announcement. If it doesn’t, then I will think of something else to do.”

Carchio was the mayor of Huntington Beach in 2010 and currently serves as a liaison to numerous groups, such as the Children’s Needs Task Force and the Fourth of July Board.

He said he didn’t have post-term plans, but after being approached by people who thought he would be a good candidate to fill Moorlach’s position, the council member started to think about running.

“I have the qualifications, and whether to continue is another thing,” Carchio said. “I have a feeling in the back of my mind that I’d like to [run for supervisor], but if I’m the only one that thinks that and other people don’t, then there’s no sense in doing it.”