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Masry's Son Plans to Run for Moorpark Council

Politics: The offspring of the Thousand Oaks mayor maintains that he isn't capitalizing on his father's name.

April 17, 2002|MARGARET TALEV | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There are the Kennedys. The Bushes. The Masrys?

Just as the nation has its political dynasties, Ventura County may soon spin off one of its own.

Ed Masry, the gruff, shaggy-haired trial lawyer depicted in the film "Erin Brockovich," made a foray into politics in 2000 with a self-funded campaign for the Thousand Oaks City Council. Within a year, he was mayor.

Now Masry's son, Louis, is planning a run for the City Council in neighboring Moorpark, population 31,000, where he will move into a new house this week with his wife and their two young children.

The 35-year-old financial advisor and restaurateur said he expects some to call him a carpetbagger or accuse him of running on his father's reputation.

But Louis Masry, who in 1998 donated $10,000 to Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources, the county's anti-sprawl political movement, maintains that he is his own man.

"If we're going to live in Moorpark, we want to be involved in the process in the city," he said. The Masrys have purchased a five-bedroom house; they had been living in a smaller home in a gated community just outside the Thousand Oaks city limits.

"I'm certainly slow-growth, like my father, but the one thing I don't want people to say is that I'm running on my father's coattails or anything like that," Louis Masry said. "I pay for my own home, I pay my own bills, I support my own family and I have my own ideas."

The younger Masry said he is running to ensure that Moorpark maintains a slow-growth mentality. He also wants to reduce truck traffic through town, a goal that has proved elusive to incumbents because federal and state agencies control the roads in question.

Ed Masry admits trying to influence his son once or twice in years past. In Louis' bachelor days, for example, the elder Masry said he tried to talk his son into breaking up with a girlfriend who "had taken 'hippie' to the extreme." But Masry said he wouldn't try to influence his son's political decisions.

Now 69, Masry said he will retire from the Thousand Oaks council when his term ends in 2004. But he would like to see his children carry on the new family tradition, he said.

In addition to Louis Masry's plans, Ed Masry said his daughters, Louanne Masry-Weeks and Nicole Masry-McAdam, both in their 30s and living in Agoura Hills, have said they may run for local office in the next few years.

"They're definitely interested," Ed Masry said.

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