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O.C. supervisor already eyeing Duvall's Assembly seat

September 9, 2009 |  5:52 pm

Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby said this afternoon that disgraced legislator Michael Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) “did the right thing under the circumstances” by resigning his Assembly seat today in the face of a sex scandal, then quickly added: “And I’m going to do the right thing.”

That, the two-term supervisor said, will be to run for Duvall’s seat in a special election, the primary for which is expected to be held before year’s end.

Norby said he was planning to run for county clerk-recorder in 2010 but now will seek Duvall’s 72nd District seat. Seventy percent of the Assembly district is in Norby’s 4th Supervisorial District, including a large chunk of his hometown of Fullerton, where he was elected to the City Council in 1984 and reelected four times.

Norby won his supervisor’s seat in 2002 and was reelected in 2006. That term expires at the end of 2010, and a special election would be called to finish out Norby’s term if he won Duvall’s  seat.

Norby, a Republican, said that he hadn’t planned to challenge Duvall in 2010 but that the assemblyman’s abrupt departure over comments about his sexual trysts "opens up an opportunity.”

The supervisor hasn’t been immune to problems himself. In March 2008, he acknowledged that he spent campaign funds to pay for a one-week stay at a Fullerton hotel the previous summer as his third marriage came to an end, an expense labeled a "study of homeless and motel families" on financial disclosure forms. 

He spent a few days sleeping in his office, then one well-remarked-upon episode in a park, before checking into the hotel. He paid $340 for the room at the bed and breakfast, according to his disclosure forms. He admitted that the expenditure was a mistake and repaid the money to his campaign.

Noting that he’s been among those who have bashed the Legislature for how it governs, Norby said Sacramento wields a lot of influence over local governments and he wants “to be part of the solution.”

Of Duvall’s sudden departure from the political scene, Norby said, “It’s a surprise. He’s got a lot of challenges ahead with his family, his personal situation, and I certainly wish him well with those. He did the right thing under the circumstances. He did it quickly.”

Norby then segued into his plans for running. Asked later if he wanted to say anything more about Duvall, Norby said he wanted to look forward and not back.

“That was three hours ago,” he said of Duvall’s resignation.

-- Dana Parsons in Orange County

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