By Frank Gormlie
Current District 2 Councilman Ed Harris told the OB Rag at the OB Veterans Plaza event yesterday that he intends to run for the 78th Assembly District seat, now held by Speaker of the Assembly, Toni Atkins in the year 2016. Atkins will be termed out that year.
Harris made this announcement down at OB’s waterfront, Tuesday, Nov. 11th, after we queried him on his future plans. Harris steps down from the council seat on December 10th, the day that Lori Zapf is sworn in as the newly-elected rep for the district.
Since his selection as District 2 council rep 7 months ago, Harris has won a lot of friends in the mainly coastal district. This is definitely true for Ocean Beach. Harris’ support for the Community Plan Update was solid – and he led the City Council in adopting the Update unanimously even in the face of challenges to the Plan by the San Diego Planning Commission.
Then when Harris made a strong stand in rejecting the proposed lease for Belmont Park, all in the interests of getting more for the public out of the deal, his support in District 2 jumped enormously. In contrast, at the time, Zapf favored the lease, as the rep for District 6.
Zapf defeated Sarah Boot in the Primary election last June for the District 2 seat. When the district boundaries changed in 2011, Zapf found herself in the newly-drawn District 2, then held by Kevin Faulconer. When Fauconer was elected mayor, the City Council appointed Harris to take his seat – but with a promise that he wouldn’t run for the seat in the election. And that’s when Zapf faced off with Boot. Incidentally, Harris had considered a run for the D2 seat back then, but withdrew.
We wish Ed Harris all the best – and our advice to him – stay visible, stay within the public realm – make yourself invaluable to the people and residents of the 78th District. Continue to be a true community leader.