Michael Kotick wins opener photo love for not being a "front runner."EXPAND
Michael Kotick wins opener photo love for not being a "front runner."

8 48th District Democrats Debate Tonight; 4 Square Off on Saturday

Voters in the 48th congressional district will be exposed to all eight Democrats in the June primary race tonight in Newport Beach, as well as four of the "front runners" Saturday morning in Huntington Beach.

The 48th is the coastal Orange County district that Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin's loins) has represented since before the first episodes of The Simpsons were broadcast. He's been the House's Barney Gumble ever since.

The Aliso Niguel Democratic Club, in partnership with other similar groups and grassroots organizations, presents a candidate forum at 7 tonight with Hans Keirstead, Michael Kotick, Laura Oatman, Rachel Payne, Boyd Roberts, Harley Rouda, Omar Siddiqui and Anthony Zarkades. Doors at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Dr., Newport Beach, actually open at 6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet with the candidates.

They will be tasked with explaining "how they plan to represent their district's progressive values in Congress, solve our district’s issues, and advance our nation’s principles of fairness and opportunity as they relate to healthcare, immigration, education, gun violence, climate change, etc.," according to event organizers.

"We seek to provide a platform for candidates to present themselves to their constituents and for constituents to meet in person with the candidates. We encourage all voters to be informed and engaged as we head into the June primaries."

The forum will be moderated by former Irvine Mayor Beth Krom and Tiffany Ackley, an environmental law attorney and Aliso Viejo City Council candidate. Non-refundable tickets are $20 (plus applicable credit card fees) at the door, but refreshments will be served and parking is free.

The Aliso Niguel Democratic Club also laid down these rules:

No audio or video recordings will be permitted except by designated personnel. By participating in this event, you expressly agree to our Code of Conduct and you give permission to have your image photographed and/or recorded and used for promotional purposes.

Code of Conduct
This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in the event.
1. Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
2. Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech.
The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable at this event. Any individual or group that engages in the following behaviors will be asked to leave the event.
1. Violence, threats of violence, or violent language directed against another person.
2. Sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory jokes in any language.
3. Use of profane, obscene or vulgar language or gestures.
4. Attire with offensive language or violence message.
5. Sustained disruption of this event.

The HB Huddle community group hosts Saturday's front runners debate that includes only Keirstead, Oatman, Rouda and Siddiqui as well as moderators Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) and his son Josh Lowenthal, who is a Democratic candidate for the 72nd Assembly district that includes Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Rossmoor, Sunset Beach and Los Alamitos. (It is currently represented by Travis Allen, who has announced he is running for governor.)

Though attendance is free, all 400 seats for the 10 a.m.-noon debate at Harbour View Elementary School, 4343 Pickwick Circle, Huntington Beach, have been reserved and there are at least 40 people on the stand-by list.

However, you can watch it via live-streaming at:

A recording will be available at:

Bethany Webb, an HB Huddle founding member, justified cutting the candidate list in half in a statement: “The 48th congressional race is sort of a circus right now and it’s difficult to have a meaningful debate when you have eight people on stage. After hosting everyone it became very clear that some candidates were simply not viable, so our strategy was to narrow the field in order to offer a better public discourse.”

HB Huddle has more than 350 members and more than 40 active volunteers from Huntington Beach and surrounding cities. The organization is composed of five Action Teams, which each work on different issues, including: Local Elections, Health Care, Women’s Rights, the Environment and #NoBanNoWall. Visit www.hbhuddle.com to learn more.


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