Norm Westwell isn't "Firecracker" anymore.
That was the nickname he ran under in past elections, one he said an opposing candidate bestowed on him because of his support for legalizing fireworks. The name stuck, to the point where even the Independent regularly listed him as "Norm 'Firecracker' Westwell" in candidate profiles.
This year, though, the nickname is gone. And it's not the only thing Westwell has done differently in his fifth run for Huntington Beach City Council. For the first time, he's walking precincts and talking to voters one-on-one. He's putting up large signs with his name around town. And he's raising money in earnest, with $7,910 so far this year.
In short, Westwell, who has served on the Ocean View School District's Board of Trustees since 2006, is running to win for the first time.
"I was running as an activist trying to get people involved," he said about his attempts in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. "Getting elected was secondary. But I realize this is a winnable campaign this time."