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Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz continues to be a lightning rod during the pandemic for refusing to wear a mask at public events.

The issue resurfaced Wednesday when Ortiz and other volunteers handed out food in the Oak View Community Center parking lot and were met by a small band of protesters.

“As a kid growing up, a couple of my buddies lived in this neighborhood and I lived downtown,” Ortiz said. “It felt like I fit in here, and I always gave to charity every Christmastime. … It was a good opportunity.”

Oak View community activist Victor Valladares attended the event and criticized Ortiz, the top vote-getter in the last City Council election, for his positions on disease transmission and other topics.

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