In the runoff election in the 4th Supervisorial District between Orange Mayor Jim Beam and Anaheim Mayor Don R. Roth, voters are faced with a disappointing choice.
In last June's primary there were four contenders for the open county board seat. None of them received the required majority of votes needed for an outright victory. The best candidate, former Congressman Jerry W. Patterson, and perhaps the second best, Manuel P. Mendez, didn't make the runoff. So now it's down to Beam and Roth.
It's a tough choice. Not because both are outstanding but because both appear so mediocre. And both have waged nasty campaigns that virtually ignored issues and problems facing the district. Maybe that's because Beam and Roth take essentially the same positions on most issues. That, however, is no excuse for a campaign consisting of personal attacks, innuendoes and mailbox hit-pieces that leave voters understandably queasy about their choice.
Patterson and Mendez have thrown their support to Beam. Given the choice, we do, too, based primarily on the basis of Beam's experience and active interest in seeking solutions to the county's traffic problems.
The county needs someone with the knowledge and understanding of its growing transportation problems and who will seek realistic transportation alternatives. We think Beam can do that and we support his election as county supervisor in the 4th District.