Supervisor John Moorlach, who gained political recognition in 1994 when he raised concerns about the vulnerability of Orange County's investment pool during his campaign for county treasurer, announced Wednesday that he plans to run for Congress.
The county declared bankruptcy in December of that year.
The former county treasurer-tax collector said he will seek the 45th Congressional District seat being vacated next year by U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine), who plans to retire.
Moorlach, a Republican, first hinted at his candidacy in July after ruling out a run for governor against incumbent Jerry Brown. He will be termed-out of the five-member Board of Supervisors in January 2015.
Moorlach filed his statement of candidacy Nov. 26, according to the Federal Election Commission.
"I'm really concerned about the amount of debt this country has," Moorlach said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. "I'm concerned about the size of the annual budget deficit. I think this country has overextended itself, and we've got to start turning that around. I want to bring my financial skill set to the equation."
Moorlach, a Costa Mesa resident, doesn't live in the 45th District, but federal law does not prohibit him from running to represent that territory, which includes Irvine, Tustin, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo and portions of Anaheim and Orange. His campaign office is in Tustin.
He doesn't think his residency will be a deterrent.
"I believe I have excellent name ID," Moorlach said, "and I've got a track record that people can look at for the last 20 years that's been very pro-taxpayer and very pro-fiscal stewardship, and I think that's very necessary in D.C."
As a supervisor, Moorlach represents District 2, which includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. He was first elected in 2006.
Moorlach joins a field of three other Republicans vying for the seat: 37th District state Sen. Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel; Marine veteran and former commercial airline pilot Greg Raths of Mission Viejo; and businessman Pat Maciariello of Laguna Hills.
As of yet, there are no Democrats in the race.
Last month, state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) officially announced his run for Moorlach's seat. State Board of Equalization Vice Chairman Michelle Steel, Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio and Coast Community College District trustee Jim Moreno are also running for the 2nd District seat.