Curt Pringle

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Curt Pringle
Curt Pringle 2008.JPG
44th Mayor of Anaheim
In office
December 3, 2002 – December 7, 2010
Preceded byTom Daly
Succeeded byTom Tait
61st Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 4, 1996 – November 30, 1996
Preceded byBrian Setencich
Succeeded byCruz Bustamante
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 68th district
In office
December 7, 1992 – November 30, 1998
Preceded bySteve Clute
Succeeded byKen Maddox
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 72nd district
In office
December 5, 1988 – November 30, 1990
Preceded byDick Longshore
Succeeded byTom Umberg
Personal details
Born (1959-06-27) June 27, 1959 (age 62)
Emmetsburg, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Alexis (m. 1984)
Alma materCalifornia State University, Long Beach (BBA, MPA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Curtis L. "Curt" Pringle (born June 27, 1959) is an American politician from the U.S. state of California. He is the last Republican to serve as the Speaker of the California State Assembly and is also the longest-serving Republican Speaker in the last 50 years. He is a former Mayor of Anaheim and a former Chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority. Since leaving office, Pringle has operated a public relations and government affairs firm, Curt Pringle & Associates.

Early life and education[edit]

Pringle was born in Emmetsburg, Iowa, but moved with his family to California and settled in Garden Grove at the age of nine in 1968. Pringle earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach.

In addition to his political work, Pringle has served as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Irvine and Chapman University, where he has taught California politics and government.


As a young man, Pringle ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Garden Grove City Council. In 1986, while working for his parents' drapery business, Pringle was elected to the Orange County Republican Central Committee, which is the controlling organ of the county Republican Party.

In 1988, the Republican nominee for Pringle's Assembly district, freshman incumbent Assemblyman Dick Longshore, died the day after the June primary election, and under California law the central committee members were charged with selecting a replacement. They chose Pringle.

In his first campaign for the state assembly, for the California State Legislature, 1989–90 session, Pringle actively pioneered Voter suppression in the United States against Hispanics in Santa Ana.[1] He and the OC Republican Party hired a security guard firm to protect against illegal voting by undocumented aliens. Some claimed this was an effort to scare Hispanic voters. The FBI investigated and although no charges were filed Pringle and the local GOP agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a lawsuit.[2]

California State Assembly[edit]

Pringle took office as a state assemblyman in December 1988 at the age of 29. In 1990, he was defeated for re-election by Democrat Tom Umberg, but after legislative district lines were drawn between Pringle and Umberg's houses following the 1990 census, Pringle ran again for the Assembly in 1992 and won.

1996 Campaign[edit]

Pringle worked his way up the Republican hierarchy, and in 1996 ran a tough campaign between Republicans and several Democrats, which was marred by the tactic of the Republican Party nominating and aiding Democratic primary decoy candidate Laurie Campbell in an attempt to split the Democratic ticket and thus weaken the candidacy of Democrat Linda Moulton-Patterson who was running against Republican Scott Baugh. Mark Richard Denny (R), an aide to Pringle admitted that he illegally circulated election nominating petitions for Campbell in order to split the Democratic vote.[3][4] In addition, Jeff Flint (R) Deputy Chief of Staff to Pringle, also pleaded guilty to illegally gathering nomination signatures for the Campbell campaign.[5][6]

Willie Brown stated that Pringle was the last state Assembly Speaker to wield broad power in that office, since rule changes immediately after Pringle's tenure transferred much of the Speaker's authority to committee chairmen. Pringle, for example, issued committee assignments to both parties' members, controlled State Assembly funds, and had broad administrative authority. As Speaker, Pringle also chaired the Assembly Rules Committee.[3]

Mayor of Anaheim[edit]

In 2002, Pringle re-entered electoral politics with his campaign for Mayor of Anaheim, California, the tenth-most populous city in the state. Pringle won a multi-candidate race, with 36% of the vote, finishing 7% ahead of his nearest competitor, Anaheim City Councilwoman Lucille King (29%). During his tenure as mayor, Pringle and the Anaheim City Council over which he presided enacted a number of reforms that The Orange County Register depicted as "freedom-friendly." According to the Los Angeles Times, "Pringle has built such a strong reputation for his aggressive pro-business approach to governance (creative tax waivers, sweeping zone changes, market incentives to redevelop run-down parts of the city) that other local officials have coined a verb for his philosophy: 'to Pringle-ize.'"[7]

Pringle was an active Mayor, governing with majority support on the city council. Pringle led the effort to transform the area surrounding Angel Stadium and Honda Center (formerly the Arrowhead Pond) into the Platinum Triangle, which is meant to be Orange County's "downtown". He was also the public face for the city as it courted the National Football League for a football franchise and fought the Angels baseball club over its name change from "Anaheim Angels" to "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."

Pringle was also seen occasionally with mayors of other major California cities when they traveled to Sacramento to collectively lobby the Governor and California State Legislature. He has a good relationship with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat and former Speaker of the Assembly, whom he knows from their years together in Sacramento, and Pringle even hosted a fundraiser for Villaraigosa's unsuccessful 2001 bid for L.A. Mayor.

Pringle was also a member of the Orange County Transportation Authority's board of directors. In August 2006, the Los Angeles Times's West magazine named Pringle as one of the 100 most powerful people in Southern California. And the OC Metro magazine listed Pringle in their Hot 25 for 2006.[8]

Pringle faced only nominal opposition for a second term as mayor, after his chief critic on the city council, Harry Sidhu, endorsed him. Pringle raised nearly half a million dollars for his re-election bid, as opposed to his nominal opponent, William Fitzgerald, who raised very little.[9] On November 7, Pringle was re-elected with 79% of the vote, the highest percentage of any local candidate in OC who faced opposition in 2006.

Pringle serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Woodbury University in Burbank, California.


After losing to Phil Angelides in the 1998 race for California State Treasurer, Pringle launched a government affairs, public relations, and entitlement firm, Curt Pringle & Associates, LLC, where he is currently President. His firm's clients have included ARCO, the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, Yamaha, and Jack in the Box.

Curt Pringle and Associates is based in Anaheim.

Pringle was also appointed in 1998 by Governor Pete Wilson to the Orange County Fair Board, where he served for four years. He was also appointed in 2007 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the Public Employees Post Employment Benefits Commission and to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, serving four and a half years, including two years as Chairman of the Authority.

Pringle served from 2010 until 2015 as Chairman of the Orange County Taxpayers Association. Cal State Fullerton's Center for Oral and Public History recognized Pringle in its 2020 Celebrating Orange County's Political Legacy event.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He has been married to his wife Alexis since 1984, with whom he has two children (Kyle and Katie).

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2006 General Election for Mayor of Anaheim
    • Curt Pringle, 41,449 - 79.0%
    • William Fitzgerald, 11,004 - 21.0%
  • 2002 General Election for Mayor of Anaheim
    • Curt Pringle, 16,146 - 35.9%
    • Lucille Kring, 12,142 - 27.0%
    • Frank Feldhaus, 9,783 - 21.7%
    • Steve Staveley, 6,928 - 15.4%
  • 1998 General Election for State Treasurer
    • Phil Angelides (D), 4,164,708 - 52.7%
    • Curt Pringle (R), 3,158,624 - 39.9%
    • Jon Petersen (L), 183,356 - 2.4%
    • Carlos Aguirre (NL), 172,711 - 2.1%
    • Jan Tucker (P&F), 146,167 - 1.8%
    • Edmon Kaiser (AI), 91,764 - 1.1%
  • 1998 Republican Primary Election for State Treasurer
    • Curt Pringle (R), 1,493,608 - 62.2%
    • Jan Goldsmith (R), 907,395 - 37.8%
  • 1996 General Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 56,493 - 58.7%
    • Audrey Gibson (D), 39,754 - 41.3%
  • 1996 Republican Primary Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 24,469 - 100.0%
  • 1994 General Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 51,977 - 63.3%
    • Irv Pickler (D), 30,184 - 36.7%
  • 1994 Republican Primary Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 20,848 - 100.0%
  • 1992 General Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 61,615 - 57.1%
    • Linda Kay Rigney (D), 46,222 - 42.9%
  • 1992 Republican Primary Election for State Assembly, 68th District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 17,346 - 60.9%
    • Joy Neugebauer (R), 6,313 - 22.1%
    • Rhonda McCune (R), 4,840 - 17.0%
  • 1990 General Election for State Assembly, 72nd District
    • Tom Umberg (D), 25,247 - 51.9%
    • Curt Pringle (R), 23,411 - 48.1%
  • 1988 General Election for State Assembly, 72nd District
    • Curt Pringle (R), 34,037 - 50.6%
    • Rick Thierbach (D), 33,194 - 49.4%


  1. ^ Luther, Claudia; Churm, Steven (November 12, 1988). "GOP Chairman Says Poll Guard Decision Was Pringle Aide".
  2. ^ Luther, Claudia (November 19, 1988). "5 File Suit Claiming Harassment at Polls by Security Guards". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b "Leader in Allen Recall Pleads Guilty to Vote Fraud". LA Times. March 12, 1996.
  4. ^ WARREN, PETER M. (March 14, 1996). "Ex-Pringle Aide Pleads Guilty to Fraud". LA Times.<
  5. ^ "Los Angeles Times". July 3, 1997. p. 282.
  6. ^ WARREN, PETER M.; PASCO, JEAN O. (September 24, 1997). "Decoy Plan No Secret, Aide Testifies". LA Times. Santa Ana.
  7. ^ "The West 100". Los Angeles Times. August 13, 2006. Archived from the original on April 22, 2010.
  8. ^ "The Hottest 25 People in Orange County". OC Metro magazine. October 26, 2006.
  9. ^ "Pringle runs against council critic". Orange County Register. October 17, 2006.
  10. ^ "Center for Oral and Public History to Recognize Three Political Leaders". California State University, Fullerton. February 11, 2020.

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by California State Assemblyman
72nd District
December 5, 1988 – November 30, 1990
Succeeded by
Preceded by California State Assemblyman
68th District
December 7, 1992 – November 30, 1998
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by California State Assembly Republican Leader
August 22, 1995 – January 4, 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by California State Assembly Republican Leader
December 2, 1996 – June 17, 1997
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Speaker of the California State Assembly
January 4, 1996 – November 30, 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by Mayor of Anaheim, California
December 3, 2002 – December 7, 2010
Succeeded by