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Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023
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OC Insider: Texas Talk

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he and his family have no intention of campaigning for president, but at a recent private event in OC over the long holiday weekend, he broke some news: he’ll be running for a fourth term in his home state next year.

Abbott’s main pledge for the forthcoming gubernatorial campaign: annexing the Republican stronghold of Newport Beach, he joked at the July 3 event, held at the Newport Coast mansion of Mindy and Glenn Stearns.

Abbott spent the holiday weekend escaping the Texas heat at Newport Beach’s Lido House hotel, built by longtime supporter Bob Olson, who along with mortgage exec Glenn Stearns helped arrange the reception.

Notables at the event included Allergan founder Gavin Herbert, Toba Capital’s Vinny Smith, Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill, MVE + Partners’ Carl McLarand, Roger’s Gardens’ Gavin Herbert Jr., and Business Journal Publisher Richard Reisman.

While highlighting the stark differences in taxes and business climate between Texas and California, as well as how the two states combat homelessness and illegal immigration in decidedly different ways, the governor noted his family’s affinity for the area; his daughter attended USC.

In 2020, the Stearns family paid $50 million—then a record for a home in OC—for their nearly 30,000-square-foot compound that overlooks Pelican Hill and much of Newport Beach. The seller: author Dean Koontz.

Perhaps the Koontz touch provided some inspiration to the founder of Stearns Lending and Kind Lending; Glenn Stearns recently published his own book.

Dubbed “InteGRITy: My Slow and Painful Journey to Success,” the memoir is “a story about adversity, pain, attitude, and action,” according to a promo for the publication.

The Pacific Symphony entertained a packed house at Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheater on July 4 with a mix of American popular favorites as well as an approved British invasion, courtesy of a selection of Beatles hits performed with the Classical Mystery Tour band.

Overseas, it was a more formal selection of works for the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra (PSYO), which performed a suite from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at a sold-out concert in Prague.

The group then traveled to Vienna, where they placed second at the just-completed SCL Youth Music Festival, which bills itself as “Austria’s premier global youth music festival for choirs, bands and orchestras.”

PSYO represents nearly 30 schools in the SoCal region, and includes instrumentalists in grades 9-12.

Orange County Soccer Club’s (OCSC) rousing comeback and victory on July 1 didn’t see any pitch invaders among the sold-out crowd, but among the first people on the field after the full-time whistle was jubilant owner James Keston, who saw his team score three times in the second half to beat recent nemesis Monterey Bay FC.

The win came during a notable milestone for the club: it marked the 10th home game of OCSC’s 10th season in Irvine.

OCSC, which competes in the USL, the domestic league just below MLS, used a late-season surge in 2021 to win its first-ever championship.

If a repeat run is to occur this season, it’ll likely require getting striker Thomas Amang 90 minutes fit; he scored a brace against Monterey Bay.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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