The Buzz: Orange County Christmas light king eyes California governor’s race

01/04/2014 12:00 AM

01/04/2014 12:18 AM

Laguna Hills mayor may jump into governor’s race

Laguna Hills Mayor Andrew Blount may join the Republican field of candidates bidding to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown this year.

Blount, a software developer known for his massive Christmas light displays, said Friday he will make a decision by early February. Blount has developed real estate and stock-trading software, and said he’s working on a mobile political app that will allow him to “run an election effectively for a really low cost.”

If he runs, Blount said he will focus on jobs and education. He describes himself as a libertarian on social issues, supporting gay marriage, abortion rights and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Blount’s positions are similar in some ways to those of Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official who is also from Orange County and considering running for governor. Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, two Republicans who have declared their candidacies, have struggled to raise money, while Kashkari has said his assets total less than $5 million – not enough to self-fund a campaign.

Of his net worth, Blount said, “Less than Neel’s.”

– David Siders

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