Businessman Andy Thorburn on Tuesday joined the growing field of Democrats challenging Republican congressman Ed Royce, immediately distinguishing by announcing he’d given his campaign a $2 million jump-start. That’s four times as much as the other five challengers combined reported raising in last month’s filings.
Thorburn, a former teacher and union activist who made his wealth in the insurance business, said the election of Donald Trump — and the lack of outcry from Royce over the controversial behavior of the president — spurred his decision to run.
“There’s too much silence,” said the 74-year-old Villa Park resident. “I’m really fed up and I’m not the type to sit around when something bothers me.”
Thorburn was born in Brooklyn, started his career as a high school teacher in New Jersey and quickly became active in the teacher’s union — including getting jailed in 1970 for violating a court order against striking. He says the strike helped win improved wages and smaller classes.
Thorburn then founded a company selling insurance. More recently, his was CEO of Foothill Ranch-based Global Benefits Group from 2005 to 2015. He remains on the board of the international insurance company and is its largest stockholder. He’s founder of the Global Benefits Group Foundation, which provides mirco-loans and other financial aid to individuals and businesses in developing countries.
The first-time candidate moved to Orange County in 1999 and to Villa Park in 2009. Villa Park is just outside Royce’s 39th Congressional District, which extends from Fullerton into Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Thorburn said that Royce represented the area…
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