Karina Onofre

Karina Onofre, second from left, wants a "blue ribbon committee" to move the Los Angeles Clippers to Orange County, possibly at the Great Park. She is running for the 74th Assembly District against, from right, Emanuel Patrascu, Anila Ali, Matthew Harper and Keith Curry, seen here during the Feet to the Fire Forum in Costa Mesa. (KEVIN CHANG / Daily Pilot / April 17, 2014)

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The Los Angeles Clippers of Orange County?

It's an idea for the franchise's future that deserves consideration, according to a state Assembly candidate who hopes to represent some of Orange County's wealthiest cities.

Karina Onofre, a candidate for the 74th state Assembly District, on Monday called for the formation of a "blue-ribbon committee" to move Lob City — the team's nickname — a little farther south.

"I want to assemble a team of innovative business owners, religious and community leaders, public officials, fans and the Clippers organization to prepare a [bona fide] proposal to straight-out invite the Clippers to come to Orange County," the Irvine resident said in a statement.

In the statement, she said the controversy surrounding disgraced team owner Donald Sterling has "hurt the team, hurt Los Angeles and hurt California."

A fresh start in a different market would benefit the team, she said, as well as give Orange County's economy a boost.

"We must show the Clippers the power of second chances, the power of a new home in Orange County, and the power to become another basketball powerhouse for all of Southern California," Onofre said.

Reached by phone Monday afternoon, the local business owner and community activist said that ideally, the team would relocate not to the Honda Center in Anaheim (as was almost the case in the 1990s, when the venue was called the Pond), but to one of the cities in her district.

The district includes parts of Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Irvine.

While it would be up to the committee to come up with specific potential sites, she said, "I was thinking [the Orange County] Great Park might be a possibility."

The park, long the center of its own controversies, is one of the most sought-after chunks of land in the county.

Onofre said "nothing is officially on paper" as far as the proposed committee goes, but she is hearing from legislators and other community members interested in joining the effort.

"Everybody thinks it's a great idea," she said. "This just shows what I bring to the table."

Huntington Beach Mayor Matthew Harper, who is running against Onofre, doesn't think the idea is so "great."

"The notion of using state taxpayer funds to shuffle a professional sports franchise from one California city to another is not only wasteful but irresponsible," he said. "The 74th Assembly District needs a representative that is focused on solving California's financial problems and infrastructure issues, reducing job-destroying regulations, fighting tax increases, and defending the freedom and liberty of its citizens."

Onofre and Harper are among five candidates vying to replace Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) in the heavily Republican district. Onofre, a Democrat, has already navigated major moves — albeit political — of her own.

Although she told a tea party audience in January that she was a Democrat who "saw the light" and represented the future of the Republican Party, she registered to run as a Democrat just days after asking a GOP group for its endorsement.

A Clippers representative could not immediately be reached for comment.