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Duvall's constituents shocked by news of his affairs

September 9, 2009 |  2:17 pm
Some of Assemblyman Michael Duvall’s Orange County constituents said today they were shocked and saddened by news of his affairs and subsequent resignation.

"I knew him as a good man who was concerned and committed to this community," said Bob Bowdish, 62, of  Yorba Linda, the Republican legislator’s home base. "I'm saddened he succumbed to earthly pleasures. If you take the desires of the flesh out of the equation, he is an absolutely remarkable man, a good civil servant."

Duvall inadvertently broadcast explicit remarks about his sexual conquests over an open microphone during a lull in a Sacramento hearing and abruptly resigned from office this afternoon.

Bowdish, a registered Democrat, said he crossed party lines to vote for Duvall multiple times, from Duvall's days on the Yorba Linda City Council to his run for the Assembly seat.

Bowdish, who is now retired, said he was Duvall's letter carrier for years and they sometimes conversed. But he said Duvall did the right thing by resigning.

"The fact of the matter is what he did was wrong,” he said. “This will ruin more than his political career."

Kay Lewis, a Placentia resident in her 70s, agreed with Duvall's decision to step down.

"If he doesn't honor his family, he does not honor his constituents," Lewis said. "With such a lack of moral character, I don't want him representing me or my district."

Lewis, a registered Republican, said she was saddened by recent news that other high-profile Republican politicians were having affairs. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford recently admitted to an adulterous affair with a Buenos Aires businesswoman, while Sen. John Ensign of Nevada acknowledged cheating with a campaign aide.

"I'm disappointed in our party, the ones who say family values are important, but they don't live it," Lewis said.  "Integrity is the highest priority, period."

-- My-Thuan Tran