Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz turned heads in Southern California when he announced he was running for a seat on the Huntington Beach city council. Once election day arrived, his dreams came true. Ortiz won one of the three open seats and will now serve a four-year term.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Ortiz received 34,901 votes. This total was 14.3% of the votes received with 100% of the precincts reporting. His total was the highest out of the 15 candidates running for the city council. Ortiz ran on a campaign slogan of "Make Huntington Beach Safe Again. His campaign website also stated that he supports law enforcement, legal immigration and the second amendment.
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According to an in-depth piece about Ortiz by The Ringer, the former UFC fighter originally had aspirations of becoming Huntington Beach mayor. However, it's impossible to run for mayor in the Southern California town. Reaching the office only happens if the city council members select Ortiz to become mayor.
"I'm not a politician at all. I'm an American that was born and raised here in Huntington Beach and I'm gonna fight for my community," Ortiz said to ABC7 in mid-September. "This is my life. They've given so much to me in my career of mixed martial arts of 23 years. Now it's time to give back for them.
"When I stood down here, I wanted to be a police officer," Ortiz continued. "But come to realize, if I was going to be a police officer, that my hands would be tied because of the chief, or the lieutenant of the officers. So let's get into the opposite side with City Council. Let's start at City Council with the grassroots, with the people."
A vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, Ortiz explained his decision to run for the city council by claiming Trump is a businessman who made the move to politics and used a business strategy to "make America great." Ortiz said that this doesn't mean that he will ultimately run for president. The Oval Office is not his ultimate goal. "I will not, nope. I think the Trump family has that handled 100%. You'll see the first woman president — Ivanka Trump. Mark my words," Ortiz said in September.
Now that the election is over, Ortiz has followed in Trump's footsteps and secured a position in politics. Now he will spend the next four years on the Huntington Beach city council. After his term is up, he could reach the mayor's office if the other members support him.