The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's Political Action Committee announced last week several endorsements in next year's election including its support for former NFL player Damon Dunn as mayor.
In a vote conducted by the 14-member Long Beach JOBS PAC, Dunn beat out mayoral candidates Jana Shields and 5th District Councilmember Gerrie Schipske for the group's support. Doug Otto, who filed paperwork to run in April, and current Mayor Bob Foster, who has not yet announced whether he will run for a third term as a write-in candidate, declined to be interviewed.
“Damon Dunn is a registered Independent who has made creating jobs in Long Beach his number one priority, and he is
committed to working with both business and labor to realize Long Beach’s potential,” said LaDonna DiCamillo, Chairman of the PAC.
Though early in the election season--the filing deadline is still seven months away--Chamber representatives said that they wanted to give their chosen candidate as much time as possible to campaign with the endorsement. Randy Gordon, Long Beach Chamber's President and CEO and PAC voting member, also told the Press-Telegram that nine months is not that far out for a race this large.
Dunn is a relative newcomer to Long Beach, having moved to the city from Orange County two years ago following a failed bid for Secretary of State in 2010. A one-time Democrat and former Republican (the party under which he ran for Secretary of State), Dunn announced earlier this year his decision to leave the GOP and has since touted himself as an independent free from party affiliations.
He is a Stanford graduate and two-season NFL player who currently runs an Irvine-based real estate development and investment firm.
"I have close friends that are Democrats and close friends that are Republican...I have friends from all perspectives," Dunn told the Post in May. "I've decided to stand as my own man and run on my own ideas, without influence from political parties."
In the same announcement, the PAC also endorsed Charles Parkin for City Attorney and Doug Haubert for City Prosecutor. Parkin was also named by outgoing City Attorney Robert Shannon's choice as his choice replacement for when he retires in July.
“The members of the Long Beach JOBS PAC were very impressed by City Attorney candidate Charlie Parkin and feel
strongly that he is the best qualified candidate to lead the City Attorney's Office into the future,” said Gordon.