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Three candidates, including one incumbent, are vying for two open seats on the Laguna Hills City Council on Election Day.


Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.


Mayor Janine Heft, a 16-year resident, and challengers Bill Hunt, a small business owner, and Nick Wood a business technology contractor, say they want to ensure community safety, support local businesses, and build community partnerships, respectively.

Heft said she would continue to work to protect the quality of life in Laguna Hills, according to her candidate statement

During her first term on the council, Heft started a pilot project to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in parks, helped establish a Stop Drowning Now club at Laguna Hills High School and launched a drowning prevention program at three elementary schools, according to her website.

Heft, a mother of two, said she knows the “importance of making sure Laguna Hills is a great place to live and raise a family,” according to her website.

Bill Hunt, a 26-year-resident, said he wants to ensure, “responsible budgets, are responsive to the community, support our local businesses, and provide the highest level of public safety to our neighborhoods, schools, public facilities and parks,” according to his candidate statement.

Hunt is an Army veteran who was with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for 22 years and has served on the city’s parks and recreation commission.

Hunt, who described himself as a “principled conservative,” said he will draw on his “extensive public safety experience to provide strong, community-centered leadership, and to ensure we maintain the high quality of life” in Laguna Hills, according to his candidate statement. 

Wood says as a leader and innovator he devours “every opportunity to build better communities, organizations, and businesses from the ground up.” 

Wood says he will strive to create a plan to maintain and enhance the city. Wood said his experience working for many companies has helped him understand how business development and community partnerships work together, according to his candidate statement.

According to the candidates’ campaign disclosure statements, from Jan. 1 through Oct. 17, Heft has raised the most money with $11,737 for her campaign; Hunt raised $7,660. Wood reported that he would receive less than and spend no more than $2,000 during the calendar year.

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