The Long Beach Area Chamber Political Action Committee has endorsed 5th District City Councilmember Stacy Mungo for next April’s primary election. However, the PAC did not conduct interviews despite the fact that Mungo is facing what many political observers believe is a formidable challenge from former Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines.


“While the PAC normally conducts a candidate interview process, we elected to move forward with this endorsement immediately since we supported Councilwoman Mungo in her initial election and overall have been pleased with her support of the Long Beach economy,” stated Gary DeLong, PAC chair, in a press release issued today. “Councilmember Stacy Mungo is the type of individual we need on the Long Beach City Council. She recognizes that supporting a vibrant business community results in good jobs and quality business services for her constituents,” continued DeLong.


Business Journal Publisher George Economides said he believes the PAC made a mistake by not interviewing Dines. “I know quite a few business owners who are supporting Dines, including several current members of the Chamber Board of Directors. Since the 5th District appears to be the only competitive race for next April’s primaries, the PAC should have conducted interviews.”


Economides added that one of the Chamber Board’s top issues was pushing for international flights at the Long Beach Airport, yet Mungo turned out to be the swing vote against those flights.  “That issue alone should have been enough to warrant interviews,” Economides said.


The Chamber PAC, consisting of 13 individuals (11 attended last week’s PAC meeting when the Mungo decision was made), is separate from the Chamber Board. “All funding is raised separately from Long Beach Chamber membership dues,” the press release noted.


Long Beach primaries are next April. The odd-numbered city council districts are up for election, as are the posts for mayor, city attorney, city auditor and city prosecutor. Earlier this year, the Chamber PAC endorsed Mayor Robert Garcia for a second term.