Politics & Elections

Women made big strides election day

TEN women were elected to posts in the cities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster on Nov. 8.

TEN women were elected to posts in the cities of Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster on Nov. 8.

By Jim Tortolano

The voters nationally may not have chosen a woman to be their next president, but female candidates did pretty well in municipal elections last week in the Garden Grove-Huntington Beach-Westminster area.

In Garden Grove, three women were elected to the city council, which is being expanded to seven persons. They are Stephanie Klopfenstein, Kim Nguyen and Thu-Ha (Diedre) Nguyen. They will join new mayor Steve Jones, and councilmen Phat Bui and Kris Beard. John O’Neill, also elected on Nov. 8, rounds out the new council, which will be sworn in and seated on Dec. 13.

STEPHANIE KLOFPENSTEIN was elected to the Garden Grove city council.

STEPHANIE KLOFPENSTEIN was one of three women elected to the Garden Grove city council.

Jones had this comment about his election to the top city post.” I am humbled by the outpouring of support from all over town and honored to become the mayor of Garden Grove.

“My top priority coming out of the gate is to corral our new seven-member city council together under a shared vision to proactively drive topline economic growth in order to generate the resources needed to properly fund public safety, infrastructure improvements, and programming of events to continue the city’s rebranding efforts.”

In Huntington Beach, Jill Hardy was re-elected, and will be joined by Lyn Semeta. Also elected was Patrick Brendan. They will join holdover council members Bill O’Connell, Erick Peterson, Mike Posey and Barbara Delgieze. The new council, with three women out of seven, will take their posts at a special meeting on Dec. 12. A new mayor will also be selected. Unlike Garden Grove and Westminster, the mayor is not elected directly by the voters but is instead chosen from among the council. Current Mayor Jim Katapodis chose not to run for another term on the council as he is moving out the area.

In Westminster, the new woman on the council is Kimberly Ho. She was elected, but incumbent Diana Carey was defeated in her bid for another term. Re-elected was Sergio Contreras.

City Councilwoman Margie Rice lost her mayoral race to incumbent Tri Ta, but remains on the council. Both of them – along with Tyler Diep – will be at the Dec. 14 council meeting for the swearing in of Ho and Contreras.

“I am very honored to have the trust and support from the people of Westminster,” said Ta. “My priorities are improving public safety, increasing revenue and creating more job opportunities.”

All in all, women will hold eight of 19 council seats in the three cities; if you count Huntington Beach City Clerk Robin Estanislau and City Treasurer Alisa Cutchen, voters tapped females for 10 of the 21 seats contest in local cities on Nov. 8.

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