Updated: This post has been updated to reflect the entry of Steve Baric into this race.
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey is terming out, in the 73rd Assembly District, in 2014. The battle for her seat is already shaping up to be a brutal one.
Five Republicans have already announced their campaigns – Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric; Capistrano Unified School District (CAPO) Trustee Anna Bryson, Rancho Santa Margarita City Councilman Jesse Petrilla, Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough (a former Chief of Staff to Harkey who is currently a government consultant), and Paul Glaab, another government consultant. These candidates all appear to be conservatives but it may be that only one of them will advance to the November, 2014 general election. Unless we end up with two Republicans in the General Election?
Harkey easily beat her Democratic opponent, James Corbett, in 2012, by over 57,000 votes, according to Smart Voter. The Democrats really have no chance at this seat in 2014.
Bryson’s campaign website is not functional yet but she held a fundraiser that is set for April 17, 2013, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at The Vandermost Residence, located at 2 Morning Dove, in Laguna Niguel. The event featured Special Guest, Oksana Grishuk, Two‐time Olympic Gold Medal Skater.
Petrilla has also announced a campaign fundraiser, set for Tuesday, May 14th, 2013, at 6:30 pm, at Hanna’s Restaurant, located at 22195 El Paseo, in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Baric is a major player in the GOP. Here is what the Register’s Total Buzz had to say about him:
The Rancho Santa Margarita councilman’s announcement Monday came with the endorsements of two of the county’s best-known politicians, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Baric (pictured) is a former assistant district attorney and immediate past vice chairman of the California Republican Party. Baric has also been a close ally of former CRP Chairman Mike Schroeder.
Bryson’s husband, Bill Evers, is her secret weapon. He has major connections in the GOP. Petrilla is an officer in the Army National Guard and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Brough presumably will have Harkey’s help and should have good connections in Sacramento.
Bryson’s endorsements include Marian Bergeson, a former state secretary of education who has served in the Legislature and on the county Board of Supervisors, and Mario Rodriguez, chairman of the Hispanic 100, a group of GOP-leaning Latino business people.
Who will win? I think this will come down to which candidate can raise the most money. All three of these candidates lack major name identification which means that they will have to spend a lot to introduce themselves to the voters outside their immediate cities.