The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

48th District Candidate Debate Part I: Keirstead, Oatman, Rouda & Siddiqui   

Free Public Event in Huntington Beach 

Voter Advocates Host Debate Moderated by US Congressman Alan Lowenthal and 72nd District State Assembly Candidate Josh Lowenthal

HUNTINGTON BEACH — The HB Huddle community group will host a debate between 48th District Congressional Candidates, Hans Keirstead, Laura Oatman, Harley Rouda, and Omar Siddqui, at a free public event on Saturday January 13, 2018 at Harbour View Elementary School (4343 Pickwick Circle Huntington Beach, CA 92649). The event runs from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and the debate will be moderated by US Congressman Alan Lowenthal and 72 State Assembly District candidate Josh Lowenthal.

The event is free and open to the public but all 400 seats have already been reserved and there is currently a 40-person stand-by list. Doors open to ticket holders at 9:15 a.m. and stand-by check-ins begin at 9:40 a.m. The event will also be live-streamed on the HB Huddle Facebook Fan page and a recording of the debate will be available on the HB Huddle YouTube channel

The debate was scheduled in November after the HB Huddle hosted four Q&A events featuring nine of the thirteen declared 48th district congressional candidates. For community members who were not able to attend all four events, the group has assembled more than 100 YouTube clips of all events, which are all available on the HB Huddle YouTube channel.

The line-up for the January debate was determined by the HB Huddle Steering Team. The group considered the candidates performance at the Q&A series, audience turnout, fundraising, and other campaign elements to narrow the list to four possible candidates. The Steering Team then conducted a straw poll via email to ensure that the group’s opinion was aligned with the larger HB Huddle membership and the top four results were the same.

“The 48th congressional race is sort of a circus right now,” said HB Huddle founding member Bethany Webb, “and it’s difficult to have a meaningful debate when you have eight people on stage. After hosting everyone it became very clear that some candidates were simply not viable, so our strategy was to narrow the field in order to offer a better public discourse.”

Since the straw poll and the debate plan were finalized, additional candidates have entered the race, including democratic candidate Rachel Payne. The HB Huddle Steering Team has decided to stick with their current strategy for the January event, however the group is currently considering a second debate in May using the same criteria and a second straw poll.

About the HB Huddle

The HB Huddle is a politically-minded community group that has grown out of the Women’s March movement. The vision of the HB Huddle is to cultivate a vibrant community of informed voters who actively participate in the democratic process to strive to make a positive difference in their community.

The HB Huddle has over 400 members and more 60 active volunteers from Huntington Beach and surrounding cities. The organization is composed of five Action Teams, which each work on different issues, including: Local Elections, Health Care, Women’s Rights, the Environment and #NoBanNoWall. A Steering Team comprised of multiple representatives from each Action Team operates as the planning body for the group. For more on the HB Huddle please visit

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