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 pleaded 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.
- 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.
Robert H. Burke
|California State Assemblyman
|Orange County Supervisor