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2018 Election: First fundraiser held, this one for Sue Kempf; more to come


Election yard signs are sprouting in gardens around town and the first council candidate’s fundraiser was held on the weekend. There will be many more.

Planning Commissioner Sue Kempf spoke to about 60 invited guests Sunday. Councilman Bob Whalen introduced her – although most folks at the fundraiser already were familiar with her contributions to the community

The four commissioners with whom Kempf serves all attended the fundraiser in support of her candidacy, as did members of the View Ordinance Task Force, the Community Emergency Response Team training, and the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee, to which she was appointed.

Mayor Kelly Boyd, who will not seek reelection when his term ends this year, was also on the guest list.

“Nobody can replace Kelly,” said Whalen. ”But if anyone can carry on (his) legacy, it’s Sue Kempf.”

In fact, Boyd takes credit for Kempf’s decision to run for one of the three seats that will be up for grabs in November. The terms of councilmembers Rob Zur Schmiede and Toni Iseman also end.

Kelly Boyd, Bob Whalen, Anne McGraw and Chris Quilter were among around 60 attendees

“I talked Sue into running and she’ll probably never forgive me,” said Boyd.

Kempf said she was honored to have Boyd’s support and looked forward to working with Whalen, on whose election campaign she had volunteered.

“I thought this is fun,” said Kempf. “I’m never doing it.” 

Kempf has been retired for a year from her position with a large engineering firm in the wireless industry. 

Retirement allows her the time to run for the council, she said. “I am all about getting things done. But I need you [supporters] to get the word out.

“The worst part is raising money.” 

She offered to speak or have coffee with any group. Kempf’s campaign treasurer Anne McGraw will collect donations.   

Local groups were represented at the fundraiser. 

“I am here because I think Sue is the right person at the right time for the very important job in our city,” said Board of Education member Ketta Brown.

Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. Board Member Darrcy Loveland Bickel attended the fundraiser to get to know Kempf.

“Everyone tells me ‘You will love her,’” said Loveland Bickel. Past Seniors Board President Chris Quilter also attended the fundraiser.

Kempf was not the only candidate at the fundraiser.

She introduced Cottie Petrie-Norris, a candidate for Assembly District 74 in the June 5 primary. 

Petrie-Norris is a Laguna Beach resident, with two sons at Top of the World Elementary School. She is a Yale graduate with a degree in economics. Her professional background is in marketing and finance – most recently for start-ups. 

Like Kempf, Petrie Norris is campaigning on “getting things done.”

Editor’s Note: Stu News will cover at least one fundraising event for each City Council candidate.

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