Five File for Laguna Hills City Council: Wild Race Set with Blount, Gilbert, Hunt, and Mathur
Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 16, 2012
With the retirements of Councilmen Joel Lautenschleger and Allan Songstad, for the first time in the history of Laguna Hills, the majority of the City Council will not be members of the inaugural City Council that took office in 1991. Five candidates have filed to replace Lautenschleger and Songstad, and all but one is a major contender.
In alphabetical order by last name (with their ballot designations), the candidates are:
- Andrew Blount (R) – Small Business Owner
- AJ Djowharzadeh (R) – Small Business Owner
- Dore Gilbert (R) – Physician/Army Reservist
- Bill Hunt (R) – Small Business Owner
- Raghu P. Mathur (R) – University Administrator/Educator
We can quickly rule out AJ Djowharzadeh (R), who won 6% of the vote in his 2010 bid for Laguna Hills City Council.
The major contenders are:
- Blount is a businessman who’s launched real estate, financial analysis, and software companies. Blount’s gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Assemblyman Jim Silva, and various City Councilmembers from across Orange County.
- Gilbert is a former Trustee on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, serving from 1981-2010. He is a doctor who joined the Army at the age of 60 and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve.
- Hunt is the former Orange County Sheriff’s Lieutenant who unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Sheriff Mike Carona in the 2006 election. As an OCSD Lieutenant, he served as the de facto Chief of Police for San Clemente. Carona demoted him after the election, and Hunt elected to leave the department instead. After Carona resigned in 2008 in the face of a 66-count federal corruption indictment, Hunt sought the appointment to be Orange County Sheriff, but the Board of Supervisors appointed Sandra Hutchens instead. Hunt unsuccessfully challenged Hutchens in the 2010 election. He now owns a private investigation business in Laguna Hills. Hunt’s gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including Senator Mimi Walters, Assemblyman Don Wagner, the majority of the Laguna Hills City Council, and various City Councilmembers from South Orange County.
- Mathur is the former Chancellor of the South Orange County Community District, the former President of Irvine Valley College, and a former Trustee on the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, serving from 1983-1992. Mathur has gathered the endorsements of various elected officials, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Orange County Board of Education President Dr. Ken Williams, and several City Councilmembers from across Orange County.