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Party Politics in Local Elections

January 25, 1987

Having read Roxana Kopetman's informative article on partisan politics in local elections Jan. 19, I would like to add a different perspective to the subject.

As a practical matter, the Republican county chairman's endorsements have really had little to do with pure partisan politics, and under close scrutiny they are far more influenced by the building industry than they are by Republican philosophy.

In Newport Beach, the chairman's public support went to a pro-growth candidate over a highly qualified and experienced Republican who was also running for the same City Council seat (both lost).

So it must be pointed out that Thomas Fuentes invariably endorses those Republican candidates who are also aligned with the developers, which is quite a different matter. The Democrats do not have a monopoly when it comes to issues of quality of life and protecting our environment.

In any case, it is inappropriate at best for the county chairman to intrude himself in the nonpartisan contests, and it could widen the split between the self-seekers perceived as "fat cats" and the grass-roots Republican volunteers who have worked so diligently to bring the party to its preeminence in the county.

THOMAS C. ROGERS

Newport Beach

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