For Immediate Release: Monday, April 16, 2012
Contact: Matt Rexroad, 916.648.1222
Council Colleague Rush Hill Endorses Leslie Daigle in AD74 Race
Hill warns about Bob Rush “spoiler” advocacy
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – This city’s only elected “Rush” – longtime civic and business leader, Rush Hill – today endorsed his city council colleague Leslie Daigle in her race for the new and wide-open Assembly District #74. He also offered pointed and provocative comments about the county Republican Party leadership, about the candidacy of Democrat Bob Rush (no relation), and Hill’s political mentor and former boss, Ronald Reagan.
“I’ve worked closely with Leslie on the most important issues facing our city — cutting our budget to live within our means, pension reform, more effective approaches to service delivery, and encouraging economic growth — and she is serious about finding solutions and effective in forging alliances on the council,” said Councilman Hill.
“Her instincts are consistently conservative, but her approach to problem-solving is open, constructive, creative and collegial,” Hill said. “In that respect, she reminds me of the best qualities of Ronald Reagan.”
Hill, an accomplished architect, was a key education advisor to then Governor Reagan. His position at the end of the administration – Special Assistant and Education Advisor to the Governor – was later elevated to a cabinet level post and subsequently held by Newport Beach’s political icon Marian Bergeson in Gov. Pete Wilson’s administration. Bergeson also has endorsed Daigle.
“Leslie’s significant support from the education community throughout the district reflects her important liaison work with our local school district to build stronger support and coordination between city hall and our K-12 schools,” Hill said.
“Rush Hill’s history and standing in our community is legendary, and I deeply value and appreciate his support, counsel and friendship,” Daigle said.
Hill was elected to the Newport Beach City Council in 2010 after a bruising campaign in which the GOP Central Committee Chairman engineered an endorsement for Hill’s Republican opponent. The party apparatus sponsored a withering barrage of direct mail attacking Hill, a lifelong Republican and decades-long resident and civic leader in Newport Beach. Outspent, Hill nevertheless won.
“Fortunately, the voters, regardless of party, were offended by the heavy handed interference of the Republican Party’s local leadership on behalf of an untested candidate, with less local knowledge,” Hill said.
The local party leadership similarly engineered an endorsement for Assemblyman Allan Mansoor before filing closed in the race for the redrawn 74th Assembly District. More than 80 per cent of the voters in the new district have never been represented by Mansoor. Daigle – who had been unanimously endorsed by the party leadership in her reelection campaign for city council two years ago – was not invited to make a case for her candidacy. She represents more voters in the new district than does Mansoor.
“I believe the growing disenchantment with our political parties – and the voter’s embrace of an open primary in California – were exacerbated by high handed actions like those aimed at both me and Leslie by a few so-called party leaders,” Hill said. “We are the party that preaches and prizes competition, but have undermined it in both cases. The voters have reason to be disillusioned and to rebel.”
The elected “Rush” warned voters that Bob Rush (no relation), a Newport Beach chronic critic of city hall, entered the race late after reregistering as a Democrat to be a spoiler in the new district that includes Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and parts of Costa Mesa, Irvine and Laguna Woods.
“His entire campaign so far has focused on criticism of Leslie, which is his right in America,” Hill noted. “But voters should be aware of his opportunistic party change and limited negative campaign focus. Several years ago he similarly financed an independent expenditure campaign against City Councilman Steve Rosansky that ultimately failed.” During the Hill campaign he created negative email blasts aimed at Hill that were ineffective.
Daigle is a recognized leader and accomplished civil servant. Currently serving her second term on the Council, Daigle is a driving force in applying fiscally sound and business-friendly principles that produce results. Daigle completed the Woman & Power: Leadership for a New Generation program at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She is a graduate of the Denmark International Study Program at the University of Copenhagen as well as the University of Denver.