Duffy Boats founder narrowly loses re-election campaign

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield fails to win a second term on Newport Beach City Council.

NEWPORT BEACH — The City Council member serving as Newport Beach’s mayor in 2014 and 2018 went on to lose his council seat in that year’s general election. Marshall “Duffy” Duffield was the headlining story in both instances – defeating then-Mayor Rush Hill in 2014 before coming full circle and losing to City Council candidate Tim Stoaks in 2018, coincidently as Newport Beach’s mayor.

Duffy, as he is commonly called, was part of an interesting sweep in 2014. He and a slate of three others swept the 2014 City Council race, promising to shake things up on the dais. In late 2017 he was elevated to Newport Beach’s top council position, three years after he unseated the sitting mayor. Duffield’s fortune appears to have soured one year later, as it’s now his turn to be elected off the City Council despite his role as sitting mayor on Election Day.

Stoaks defeated Duffield in what was clearly the closest of four City Council races in Newport Beach. Only 310 votes separated Stoaks from Duffield, with all precincts reporting. The final vote was 14,017 (Stoaks) to 13,707 (Duffy). Stoaks stated his top priority on the dais would be to reduce noise and pollution.

Duffield’s defeat means the Newport Beach City Council now has one less boating interest. Council member Brad Avery, a lifetime sailor and face of the OCC Sailing Center, joined Duffield in representing local boaters on the dais.

Southern California’s boating community was certainly influenced by Duffield. The now outgoing Newport Beach City Council member invented the Duffy boat. Duffy boats, which are 100 percent electric, are regularly found in Newport Beach’s harbor. His mayoral term, which is on the verge of ending, included a few harbor-themed initiatives. One of the most recent policies adopted by the City Council was a harbor speed limit exemption for boats participating in regattas. The city also revamped its management of the harbor and green-lit an on-the-water trash-collecting concept for the bay area on Duffy’s mayoral watch.

Duffield had served on Newport Beach’s Harbor Commission before being elected to the City Council in 2014. The outgoing mayor would be eligible to run for a City Council seat again in 2022, when his 3rd Council District seat is up again for reelection; Newport Beach’s City Council members can serve up to 8 years – two four-year terms – on the dais. The terms do not have to be consecutively served.

The Nov. 6 election also saw another council member lose his seat: Joy Brenner defeated incumbent Scott Peotter in Newport Beach’s 6th Council District election. The final vote was 15,618 to 8,751 in favor of Brenner. Peotter was embroiled by a recall effort in 2017; the recall effort failed, however.

Newport Beach’s City Council is organized into seven districts; four of the districts were up for election on Nov. 6. Council member Diane Dixon (16,098 votes) defeated Mike Glenn (10,793 votes) in the 1st Council District race.

Also retaining his seat was City Council member Kevin Muldoon, who defeated Roy Englebrecht (18,110 votes to 8,751) in the 4th Council District seat.

The Newport City Council will meet two more times this year: Nov. 27 and Dec. 11. Stoaks and Brenner will join Dixon and Muldoon in being installed by or before the last meeting. A new mayor will also be selected once the quartet of council members is installed.

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3 thoughts on “Duffy Boats founder narrowly loses re-election campaign


    The article was very informative and resourceful for readers like me. Hope to see more info coming about any harbor or boating projects taking place at coastal cities. Thank you Rohit for keeping me informed. Al

  • Dinah

    There are several things wrong with this article, but I’ll just point out two glaring points:

    1- Counting the votes in all the NB Council races is far from “final” at this point, even more so at the time this article was published. At today’s (Nov. 20) 5 p.m. update Stoaks has 16,987 and Duffy has 16,676. It gets updated every day at 5 p.m. and could still change. Stoaks is not the clear winner yet. At one point they flipped and Duffy was ahead. So saying “the final vote was…” or even declaring that Duffy has lost is just plain wrong. Although it appears that will be the outcome, it’s not official yet.

    2- Duffield never votes on harbor-related items in Council meetings. He has to recuse himself if anything relating to the harbor comes up because of his conflict of interest. This was even a big part of Stoaks’ message (that he loves the harbor as well, but at least he is able to vote on harbor-related issues to help improve it), which you would have known if you paid even a little bit of attention during the campaign. So saying the Council has lost a member (which, again, is inaccurate at this point) with a boating interest is misleading. Duffy was never able to represent boating interests on the Council in the first place.



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