Democratic hopefuls speak at club event

Three candidates for local offices discuss platforms at Laguna Beach Democratic Club meeting Wednesday.

April 12, 2012|By Jenny Stockdale, Special to the Coastline Pilot

Democrats running for office in November's election presented their platforms on health care, financial and education reform to a group of more than 30 people at the Unitarian Fellowship church in Laguna Beach on Wednesday.

Each candidate had 20 minutes to speak and take questions from the audience at the event hosted by the Laguna Beach Democratic Club.

Robert Rush is running for the 74th Assembly District, which includes Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and Huntington Beach, against incumbent Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, both Republicans.


Steve Young is running for the 37th State Senate District, which includes Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine and Huntington Beach, against incumbent Sen. Mimi Walters.

Ron Varasteh is running for the House of Representatives' 48th District, which includes Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach, against incumbent Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and marketing sales executive Alan Schlar.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Robert Rush was a certified personal accountant.

Rush, a Newport Beach resident and certified public accountant, presented first, speaking for less than three minutes. He named fiscal reform as his top priority, followed by education.

"I believe I bring the skill set and the experience along with my vision and my values to address these problems with real solutions, not gimmicks," he said. "I think we're too jaded; we've seen a lot of politicking going around. I don't have that because I'm not a career politician. I'm willing to work with anybody at any time in any matter for the betterment of California."

Rush answered questions ranging from his position on the governor's tax initiative to single-payer health care.

"[The tax incentive is] a step in the right direction," he said. "It has less gimmicks than we've seen in the past. It has some good things; it has some not so good things. I'd like to see some more spending cuts before we initially react with a significant tax hike."

In the only reference to his opponents, Rush explained his stance on receiving special interest money.

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