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Updated: Edgar Drops Congressional Race for State Assembly

The move makes Edgar the top fundraiser in the Assembly race, and former rival Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong now has a war chest twice as big as any remaining opponent.

Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar backed out of the 47th Congressional race in favor of a bid for the newly created 72nd California Assembly District, he announced Tuesday.

The move means that there is no longer an Orange County candidate for the Congressional seat representing Long Beach, Rossmoor and Los Alamitos. It also pits Edgar up against city leaders from Huntington Beach and Westminster for the assembly seat serving parts of Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Garden Grove and Santa Ana. Edgar enters the race with the biggest war chest with nearly $500,000 from his Congressional campaign, most of which he loaned to his own campaign, according to the most recent campaign finance statement. Upwards of $80,000 comes from campaign donations.

“I believe California has arrived at a critical moment in its history. We must become a state that allows businesses to thrive and jobs to flourish,” Edgar said in a written statement Tuesday. “I am anxious to take my experience in the business world and local government to Sacramento to become a force for a prosperous future for California.”

Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong, and former U.S. Congressman Steve Kuykenall, both Republicans and Edgar’s one-time rivals in the Congressional race, were quick to support Edgar in his bid for the State Assembly seat.

“I absolutely endorse Troy Edgar for that seat,” DeLong told Patch Tuesday. “I think he will be a great State Assemblyman. He’s a class act.”

Said Kuykendall, a former Marine, of Edgar, former Navy, "I think he'll do fabulously, and though I don't know that race well, to be honest, I think it's a benefit being a veteran, because whether you've been in combat or not, you learn things you don't learn anywhere else. A combination of independence and a stiff backbone you'll need in politics."

DeLong said Edgar’s departure from the Congressional race means he can confidently shift his focus from winning the primary to facing Democrat Alan Lowenthal in the general election. Lowenthal has said the same thing. He could not immediately be reached but has told Patch previously that he feels confident about fundraising given he's the only Democrat announced; he thus doesn't need much money before the November general election.

With Edgar’s departure, DeLong and Kuykendall are the only Republican candidates left in the race with significant funding. According to the most recent campaign filing statements, DeLong has more than $410,000 in his war chest compared to Kuykendall’s $70,00. The two will square off Feb. 16 in a debate sponsored by the Long Beach Republican Party. Despite the funding disparity, Kuykendall recently announced a major endorsement coup from Sen. John McCain.

Kuykendall and Lowenthal have said they aren't particularly worried about the fundraising disparity.

"I've been in six elections, double that if you count the primaries, and I've been outspent in every one of them, and twice won as the first Republican in a Democractic seat," said Kuykendall. Were they victories? He laughed. "Yes. Well except one that I lost to the former Congresswoman Jane Harman, by less than half a percentage point, and I think she might be a billionaire."

Edgar's exit from the race is Kuykendall's gain, he said. "It's good for me in that we reduced the field; it's good for me that we reduced the guy that was the Orange County candidate, so now Orange County's in play."

In launching his state assembly campaign, Edgar announced endorsements from Representative Ed Royce, State Senator Tom Harman, and Assemblyman Jim Silva and city leaders including Los Alamitos Mayor Pro Tem Marilynn Poe and Councilman Ken Stephens, Seal Beach Mayor Pro Tem Gary Miller, and Fountain Valley Councilman Larry Crandall.

In the battle for the state assembly seat. Edgar faces Huntington Beach City Councilman Matthew Harper, Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep, Long Pham, a Little Saigon businessman, and Albert Ayala and Joe Dovinh, neither of whom have filed campaign finance statements. So far, Edgar’s funding outpaces his opponents by more than $400,000.

More details to come.

met00 February 10, 2012 at 09:39 AM
The power of a question is NOT the initial question. The power is asking a followup based on the answer to the original question. This is the thing I loath about the Sunday talking heads. They ask a question. The answer from the politician is a demonstrable outright LIE, and then they ask the next question on the list. My questions are obviously skewed by my progressive leanings. I believe in things like a public good and a progressive tax code. I think that we can close all our foreign military bases and bring all those Americans home, saving billions that we don't need to spend. I believe that we have shortchanged our youth with a far inferior education than we had just 40 years ago. And I believe that the changes to the tax codes in 1980 were responsible for the credit bubble, the internet bubble and the housing bubbles that have moved all the assets of this country to the top 0.1% and have decimated the working class. So, my questions reflect my biases. I would much rather see a live chat (say a google+ hangout managed by Patch) where each candidate is asked questions from a panel of Patch editors and readers, with followup questions. The whole thing is taped and then after it is fact checked. Finally the entire thing is posted to Patch along with the fact check notations in the video.
Panglonymous February 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Look for something on this order Monday, I hear - it was already in the works!: A joint BSNaples/LosAlSB piece asking new 47th District citizens to thoughtfully formulate essential questions they would ask candidates. -- Interesting, met, about the follow up question. This, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/30/president-obama-hangs-out-america God, it would be invigorating to see these tightly managed persons engage in some REAL dialogue for a change. I wonder what the odds are that The Patch would be interested, adequately staffed, and capable of pulling the G+ off. Younger voices might be attracted to a conversation like that. Would that be a benefit? ;-)
met00 February 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I hope that they would. They could take a few of the more active reader/writers add them to the hangout and get some really interesting questions asked. But for me the key is that everything be fact checked. For instance, when a candidate says "Obama's socialist agenda started with TARP and the bank bailout" it would be nice to have someone there to point out that Bush did the TARP, that there were no penalties associated with TARP, and that no regulations were involved with TARP to change the banks behavior so they wouldn't get into the same position again. It's not that Obama needs defending, but that the candidates shouldn't be allowed to have their own set of "facts" that are actual fictions to justify themselves or their positions. Reality does NOT have a liberal bias, but you can't just make stuff up that turns cats into dogs and call it reality, and then base your actions on it. Cats don't bark and the socialization of corporate losses and privatization of corporate gains didn't start with President Obama, it is a continuation of the Bush/Cheney policies. So, the most important thing to do in any "discussion" would be to ensure that the voters get the facts, not the spin, and not a politicians factual reality based on whole cloth fiction.
Panglonymous February 11, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Facts can be refreshing.
Roy Reynolds February 14, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Edgar needs to answer for his past support of this ridiculous transportation scheme: http://www.olda.org/. Los Alamitos finally bagged this nonsense a few years ago, but not before spending a lot of money to look at an elevated high-speed Maglev train between Santa Clarita and Irvine that would compete with the equally ludicrous CA High-Speed Rail project. Edgar is a long-time Los Alamitos Council member and wasted five figures annually in supporting his city's membership on OLDA. "Experience" on this tiny City Council hardly qualifies Edgar for the Assembly, and especially as he'd be a freshman in a shrinking minority of Republicans. This is not a job for the political opportunist I know him to be.

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