Will Norby be the new McClintock?

Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby, a Republican from Fullerton, easily won the 72nd Assembly District seat vacated by a disgraced Mike Duvall. This was no surprise given that California’s heavily gerrymandered legislative districts assure that Republicans will win Republican seats and Democrats will win Democratic seats. Norby’s big challenge was in the primary when he faced establishment Republican Linda Ackerman, the wife of former Senate Minority Leader Dick Ackerman. The Ackermans and Norby have been at odds since Dick Ackerman and Chris Norby served together on the Fullerton City Council many moons ago. Linda Ackerman endorsed Chris earlier in the week, waiting, apparently, to nearly the last moment to do so.

Norby’s victory should interest Capitol watchers, not simply because a new Assembly member will set up shop in the Capitol, but because Norby is quite different from your run-of-the-mill Republican. He is a principled small-l libertarian who will be willing to buck his caucus, at least if he is true to form. Norby will not a law-and-order, drug-warrior, big-government Republican. He has worked with Democrats, including very liberal Democrats, to promote issues he cares about, such as eminent-domain reform.

Now that Tom McClintock is in the U.S. Congress, the Republican caucus may have a new principled member who will be less apt to settled for unprincipled deal-cutting. We shall see. But it will be interesting to watch.

–Steven Greenhut

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  1. Vince De Vargas
    Vince De Vargas 14 January, 2010, 10:22

    With Chris “what you see is what you get.” He says what he believes and acts accordingly. You will always know where he stands and that is what is important. He will be a good and honest representative for his district. How he will do with the Dems remains to be seen, as it is with all GOPers.

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