Commentary: Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley is the best candidate for state Senate


California’s primary election will be three months earlier (March 3, 2020) than in previous years so it is important to start to learn about candidates now.

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley is running for California’s Senate District 37. Foley’s personal and business connections to the community, public service leadership experience and long list of accomplishments make her the best candidate.

Foley has been connected to the community for many years. Foley, her teacher husband and two college-age boys have lived in Costa Mesa for 23 years, and Foley’s law practice has been in Newport Beach and Irvine for 21 years.


Last November, running on making Costa Mesa better for families, Costa Mesa voters chose Foley as the city’s first directly elected mayor by 60%. She previously was appointed by the City Council to serve as mayor (2016-17), was a council member for 10 years (2004-10, 2014-18) and served on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board of trustees (2010-14).

Foley’s leadership and problem-solving abilities resulted in numerous accomplishments that have benefitted Costa Mesa and will benefit Senate District 37 in the future.

Currently, the key issues Foley is focused on include opposing the John Wayne Airport expansion, establishing and running Costa Mesa’s new 50-bed shelter for the homeless and suing opioid manufacturers for the negative financial impact on Costa Mesa.

In the recent past, Foley addressed several important issues. Foley increased regulation and worked with California Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) on Assembly Bill 920 to control poorly managed and nuisance sober living homes; worked to address homelessness; took legal action to block the needle exchange program, due to the public safety risk from hypodermic needle litter; supported the construction of a new 23,355-square-foot library and 1-acre park; promoted improved bikeways and “walkability” in Costa Mesa; and led the negotiations for a firefighters contract that resulted in employees paying more into their pension fund while receiving better health benefits, but not increasing the underfunded pension liability.

Foley’s unique ability to identify and solve problems, her many accomplishments, public service leadership experience, and connections to the community, makes her the best candidate for Senate District 37.

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Charles Mooney lives in Costa Mesa.