In a handy tool for their State Assembly campaigns, AD-55 Candidate Craig Young became Mayor of Yorba Linda last night and AD-74 Candidate Matt Harper became Mayor of Huntington Beach on Monday night.
Being mayor during the same year as an Assembly candidacy lends itself to a few helpful advantages:
- “Mayor” is stronger than “Councilman” as a ballot designation. Many voters do not realize that most California mayors are effectively the chair of the city council; these voters instead think of executive mayors, like the types in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago. (For the political scientists out there, many California voters believe they live in a city with a “strong mayor-council” system when in reality, most California cities have “council-manager” systems.)
- Mayors tend to get more press coverage than councilmembers, as reporters are more likely to quote a mayor than a councilmember.
- Mayors get more of the spotlight at community events. Rather than asking five or seven councilmembers to speak at an event, most organizers will simply ask the mayor to speak. After all, people attending a community event would generally prefer to hear a speech from one politician rather than speeches from about a half-dozen politicians.
At this point in the AD-55 race, Young’s opponents for the Republican nomination are Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang and Walnut Valley Unified School Board Member Phillip Chen. Chang will not be mayor during her Assembly bid, as Carol Herrera became Mayor of Diamond Bar last night. AD-55 Incumbent Curt Hagman is termed out. You can find previous OC Political posts on the AD-55 race here.
Mayor Harper is the only elected official to have thrown his hat in the AD-74 ring as of this morning. His two opponents for the Republican nomination are 2010 Laguna Beach City Council Candidate Emanuel Patrascu, whose day job is as District Director for State Assemblyman Travis Allen, and 2012 Santa Ana City Council Candidate Karina Onofre, whose day job is split between working for H&R Block and as a Field Representative for State Senator Bob Huff. AD-74 Incumbent Allan Mansoor is running for Orange County Supervisor. You can find previous OC Political posts on the AD-74 race here.