Curt Pringle

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Curt Pringle
44th Mayor of Anaheim
In office
December 3, 2002 – December 7, 2010
Preceded byTom Daly
Succeeded byTom Tait
Minority Leader of the California Assembly
In office
December 2, 1996 – June 17, 1997
Preceded byRichard Katz
Succeeded byBill Leonard
61st Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 4, 1996 – November 30, 1996
Preceded byBrian Setencich
Succeeded byCruz Bustamante
Majority Leader of the California Assembly
In office
August 22, 1995 – January 4, 1996
Succeeded byJim Rogan
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
Curtis L. Pringle

(1959-06-27) June 27, 1959 (age 64)
Emmetsburg, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseAlexis (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 most recent Republican to have served as the Speaker of the California State Assembly. 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, in 1959, but moved to California with his family at the age of nine in 1968 and settled in Garden Grove. Pringle then earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach.


As a young man, Pringle worked for his family's drycleaning and drapery/window covering business. In 1986, after three unsuccessful runs for a seat on the Garden Grove City Council, Pringle was elected to the Orange County Republican Central Committee, which is the controlling organ of the Orange County Republican Party. Pringle served as vice-chair of the Orange County Republican Central Committee.

In 1988, the Republican nominee from Pringle's Assembly district, freshman incumbent Dick Longshore, died the day after the June primary election, and, under Californian law, the Orange County Republican Central Committee members were charged with selecting a replacement nominee to run in the November general election, and out of the ten candidates, they chose Pringle.

In his first campaign for the State Assembly, Pringle was accused of vote suppression against Hispanics in Santa Ana.[1] The Orange County Republican Party hired a security guard firm to protect against supposed illegal voting by undocumented aliens in the Pringle district. Some[who?] claimed this was an effort to scare Hispanic voters. The FBI investigated and no charges were filed against Pringle and the local GOP, however they agreed to pay $400,000 to settle the civil lawsuit out of court.[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 in 1990. After the redistricting of 1991, Pringle ran and was elected to the district, Assembly in 1992. He also won re-election in 1994 and 1996 and left the Assembly, due to term limits in 1998.

Pringle worked his way up the Republican hierarchy in the Assembly. After the Assembly Republicans won a majority in the 1994 election, Pringle, the Assistant Republican Leader at the time, also was appointed the Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. He served in that capacity for most of 1995, when the Assembly operated under a power sharing agreement with a split house. Later in 1995, Pringle was elected the Assembly Republican Leader and became the Majority Leader of the Assembly, before being elected Speaker in January 1996. In 1996, Assemblywoman Doris Allen was recalled from office in a in as tough campaign between Republicans and several Democrats. This recall campaign was marred by the tactic of some Republicans to aid 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 for Allen's former seat. Mark Richard Denny, 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 Gibson, another campaign aide 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 the 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]

As 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 Orange County 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, of which 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 before resigning.

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]

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 Californian politics and government.

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 Anaheim mayoral election
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Curt Pringle* 41,449 79.0
Nonpartisan William Fitzgerald 11,004 21.0
Nonpartisan hold
2002 Anaheim mayoral election
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Curt Pringle 16,146 35.9
Nonpartisan Lucille Kring 12,142 27.0
Nonpartisan Frank Feldhaus 9,783 21.7
Nonpartisan Steve Staveley 6,928 15.4
Nonpartisan hold
1998 California State Treasurer election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Phil Angelides 4,166,206 52.60
Republican Curt Pringle 3,159,898 39.90
Libertarian John Petersen 183,436 2.32
Natural Law Carlos Aguirre 172,844 2.18
Peace and Freedom Jan B. Tucker 146,226 1.85
American Independent Edmon V. Kaiser 91,801 1.16
Invalid or blank votes 427,354 4.96
Total votes 7,920,411 100.00
Turnout   41.32
Democratic gain from Republican
1998 California State Treasurer election Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle 1,506,892 62.20
Republican Jan Goldsmith 915,787 37.80
1996 Election for Speaker of the California State Assembly[11]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cruz Bustamante (31st) 43 53.75
Republican Curt Pringle (68th) 37 46.25
Total votes 80 100
Votes necessary 41 >50
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle* 56,493 58.7
Democratic Audrey Gibson 39,754 41.3
Republican hold
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1996 Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle 24,469 100.0
1995 Election for Speaker of the California State Assembly[12]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle (68th) 40 51.9
Republican Brian Setencich (30th) 37 48.1
Total votes 77 100
Votes necessary 39 >50
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle* 51,977 63.3
Democratic Irv Pickler 30,184 36.7
Republican hold
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1994 Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle* 20,848 100.0
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle 61,615 57.1
Democratic Linda Kay Rigney 46,222 42.9
Republican hold
California's 68th State Assembly district election, 1992 Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle 17,346 60.9
Republican Joy Neugebauer 6,313 22.1
Republican Rhonda McCune 4,840 17.0
California's 72nd State Assembly district election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tom Umberg 25,247 51.9
Republican Curt Pringle 23,411 48.1
Democratic gain from Republican
California's 72nd State Assembly district election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Curt Pringle 34,037 50.6
Democratic Rick Thierbach 33,194 49.4
Republican hold


  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.
  11. ^ "Journal of the Assembly, Volume 1". California State Assembly Journal 1997 - 98 Session. 1: 7. November 30, 1998. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "Journal of the Assembly, Volume 3". California State Assembly Journal 1995 - 96 Session. 3: 4277. November 30, 1996. Retrieved January 24, 2023.

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
Majority Leader of the California State Assembly
August 22, 1995 – January 4, 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minority Leader of the California State Assembly
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