Can you guess which local elected official is highlighted in this 1984 photo at a pro-Reagan rally?

One of my earliest memories as a freshman Trojan at USC in 1984 was the visit of presidential candidate Walter Mondale, who ran into what was probably one of the nastiest college receptions a politician has ever faced.

I’ll never forget that September day — walking past Bovard Auditorium, the anchor building to the famous Tommy Trojan statue where I usually sat through morning biology classes — and realizing that Mondale’s campaign appearance had turned into a face-off with a crowd of jeering students.

As a young Cuban-American political science student in what I thought at the time was the midst of the Cold War, I was no fan of Democrats’ vision for taking on the Soviet threat and made sure to walk over and let Mondale know what I thought — in the loudest and most energetic manner possible.

Mondale famously shot back at the sign-holding students across from him, calling them “Republican hecklers.”

Yet little did he — or I — know, we were actually standing right across from one of Orange County’s future leading politicians.

Can you guess who we were looking at?

Update: Today’s winner is commenter, Truevoice, whose keen eye identified Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson.

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