State candidates highlight political divide, emphasize the need for local control

The current political divide was evident this week at a community forum featuring state candidates, but they also emphasized the need for local control and some promised to reach across the aisle to find solutions.

Speak Up Newport hosted a meeting Wednesday (Oct. 12) and featured this year’s state candidates. More than 80 people packed into the Community Room at the Newport Beach Civic Center and more watched the live stream on local TV or Zoom. Former Councilmember Tony Petros moderated the event.

The forum focused on four candidates in two races: Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach) and Judie Mancuso (D-Laguna Beach) vying for the seat in the 72nd Assembly District; and Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach) and Kim Carr (D-Huntington Beach) in the contest for the 36th Senate District.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) was invited, but unable to attend. She currently represents the 45th Congressional District, but after recent redistricting, the new map renumbered her area to the 47th District. 

Her challenger for the 47th District, Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach), attended the Speak Up meeting and shared some opening remarks, but then stepped aside so the rest of the time could be dedicated to the candidates whose opponents were at the table.

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