Nestande returned to Reagan's office in 1974 but left after less than a year when he was elected to the California State Assembly to represent the 70th District in Orange County. During his three terms in the Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Human Resources Committee and the Select Committee on Veterans Affairs. He was also a member of the Criminal Justice, Housing and Community Development Committee; the Ways and Means Committee; and the Resources, Land Use and Energy Committee.
Rather than seeking a fourth Assembly term in 1980, Nestande successfully sought election to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Nestande was reelected in 1984 but resigned in 1987. In 1986, Nestande unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Secretary of State March Fong Eu.
Nestande moved from Orange, California to nearby Newport Beach, after divorcing his long-time wife, Beverly. His older son, Barry, a former attache to the Congo, served the last eight years of his life as the Chief of Staff to John J. Benoit (during Benoit's tenure as State Assemblyman, State Senator, and Riverside County Supervisor) and was recognized as one of California's top political strategists. His younger son, Brian, a former Chief of Staff to Congressman Sonny Bono and Congresswoman Mary Bono and owner of the political consulting firm of Nestande & Associates, was elected to the Assembly in 2008 to succeed Benoit, who vacated his Assembly seat to enter the State Senate.
In 2007, Nestande pled guilty to misdemeanor DUI and hit and run charges as well as felony filing fraudulent insurance claim charges as part of a plea agreement to have the felony charges dropped in exchange for completing a sentence of 6 months in jail and probation.
His daughter is Gabrielle Nestande, a former Texas state legislative staffer, who on February 21, 2013, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide for a May, 2011 a drunk driving incident that took place in Austin, Texas and killed a 31 year old woman. Gabrielle left the scene of the accident. The jury in the case determined that a deadly weapon was used, making the offense a third degree felony. On February 22, 2013, the jury recommended a 10 year suspended sentence, or probation, and a $10,000.00 fine. On March 25, 2013, sentence was formally passed by Judge Karen Sage, who ordered her to serve 10 years probation, six months of which she spent in the Travis County jail. She was released in September 2013.
- Alex Vassar & Shane Meyers. "Bruce Nestande". JoinCalifornia Political Archive.
- Haldane, David (25 April 2007). "Ex-O.C. supervisor sentenced to jail time". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "Nestande sentenced to 10 years probation; must pay $10,000 fine".
- KEYE TV - Nestande sentenced to Jail Time
- Gabrielle Nestande released from jail this morning, 20 September 2013, myfoxaustin.com
Robert H. Burke
|California State Assemblyman
|Orange County Supervisor