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Commentary: There’s no reason for Republicans to bother challenging Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) stands outside her home.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

One day last November, constituents of the 74th Assembly District (my district) woke up to find they suddenly had real representation in Sacramento. Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) began serving the people in her district in ways her predecessor, Matthew Harper, never did or could.

Not only are her constituents finally being heard in Sacramento, where the Democrats control power, but she is able to work closely with new congressional representatives like Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) because Democrats won all of the Orange County races in reaction to being ignored by Republicans for far too long.

For Republican challengers like Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon and Orange County Deputy District Atty. Kelly Ernby to claim they could do a better job than Petrie-Norris ignores their political party and the realities of a changed electorate. Despite current political registration advantages the GOP has here and elsewhere in Orange County, the party has kicked away its right to represent us effectively.

Dixon and Ernby must bear the burden of that failure, despite any personal qualifications they may have. No more partisan puppets who spew the Republican National Committee line or ideologues who are routinely ignored now at all levels of government. That ship has sailed.


Democrats like Petrie-Norris and Rouda have proven for months they are the better public servants for all the constituents of their districts. On May 9, Rouda set up a field station at the Huntington Beach Senior Center to address senior needs and concerns, something his predecessor, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), would not have done.

Just recently I have attended several public “Coffee with Cottie” events where she reaches out to all her constituents. Republicans can bluster all they want, but the proof of the pudding is in the representation. We are now getting it, and we get it!

Tim Geddes lives in Huntington Beach.