Mayor Curry to run for Assembly

Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry confirmed Wednesday that he plans to run for state Assembly in 2014.
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily Pilot)

Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry confirmed Wednesday that he plans to run for state Assembly in 2014.

“It was a spontaneous decision,” he said. “My wife and I were having dinner [last weekend] and she said, ‘You ought to do it. The timing is good.’”

Curry, a Republican, wants to represent the 74th District, a recently redrawn swath that encompasses all or parts of Newport, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Beach. Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) currently occupies the seat but is running for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Mansoor, a former Costa Mesa mayor, would vacate his Assembly seat if he is elected to succeed 2nd District Supervisor John Moorlach, who will be termed out in January 2015. Moorlach announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress.

Curry, who has a long Republican political history, worked as a deputy to then-Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum. He also served as an advisor to the administrator of the Federal Transit Administration under President Reagan.

In 2006, Curry was appointed to the Newport Beach City Council, and has since won three elections to keep that seat. He will be termed out in 2016.

After he retired from public finance consulting in 2011, Curry formed the Center for Public Policy at Concordia University in Irvine.

Faced with a heavily Democratic Legislature, Curry said that, if elected, he would collaborate with others to improve the state.

“Republicans need to engage with a positive agenda for the people of California,” he said.

Curry, 58, added that he would focus on giving “cities the tools they need to control their costs and foster economic growth” — a need he said that his experiences in Newport have underscored.

“One of the things I’ve learned as mayor is that Sacramento does not understand nor respect the role of cities,” he said.

Curry said he expected to make a formal announcement about his candidacy at a Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce event set for Thursday morning. So far, he said, responses to his candidacy have been encouraging.