(Voter Registration: 48% D - 33% R) -- Democrats: Jim Hennefer of
Middletown; Mike Thompson of Napa. Republicans: R.J. "Jim" Chase
of Willits; Mark Luce of Richmond. Libertarians: James R. Oglesby of Cloverdale;
Emil P. Rossi of Boonville. Peace and Freedom: Ernest K. Jones Jr. of Ukiah.
What has been in past years a prolonged and expensive rally in a district which ping
pongs between parties could wind up an easy ace instead. The establishment-backed
state Senator Mike Thompson, is the Democrats' dream candidate for a district home
to both enviro-activists and timber-industry workers worried about jobs. Democrat
consumer attorney and wealthy rancher Jim Hennefer could stir up some sparks in the
primary, irked that the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee has urged him to clear the way for Thompson. But the county endorsements
-- from all corners of this far-flung district -- and political name ID belong to
Thompson. GOP incumbent Frank Riggs opted not to face the popular senator this fall,
choosing instead to make a brief appearance in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate before
dropping out of that contest in mid April. Riggs already lost the seat once in 1992
to then-Democrat Dan Hamburg and needed substantial help financing an advertising
blitz to defeat electoral neophyte Michela Alioto in 1996. Riggs' defection left
Republicans scrounging for a candidate, but they finally found a taker in Napa County
supervisor Mark Luce. Republican Jim Chase is not running an active campaign.
(Voter Registration: 39% D - 44% R) -- Democrat:
Roberts Braden of Chico. Republicans: Incumbent Wally Herger of Marysville;
Bob Todd of Big Bar. Natural Law: Patrice Thiessen of Mount Shasta.
Seeking a seventh term in the rural northeastern district, incumbent Wally Herger
has little to fear from ultraconservative Bob Todd. Democrat Roberts Braden, who
lost to Herger in 1996 by a good 58,000 votes, will take another crack at him in
(Voter Registration: 44% D - 40% R) -- Democrats:
Sarb Basrai of Yuba City, Howard Beeman of Woodland, Sandra Dunn of Carmichael, Bob
Kent of Yuba City. Republicans: Barbara Alby of Folsom, Nathan Arrowsmith
of Red Bluff, Doug Ose of Sacramento, Charles Schaupp of Esparto. Libertarian:
Ross Crain of Red Bluff.
The decision of veteran Democrat Vic Fazio last November to retire after two decades
in office prompted a veritable stampede of candidates in a district becoming increasingly
more conservative. Hardly had Fazio's resignation been revealed when Assemblywoman
Barbara Alby announced her intention to run. Although sometimes difficult to categorize
by traditional standards -- she is well-regarded among many female legislators on
both sides of the aisle for her strong stands against domestic violence -- Alby's
distinctly conservative views make many in the GOP leadership uncomfortable, and
the slight Democratic registration edge may be amenable to a more moderate candidate.
She was elected to the Assembly in a 1993 special election after the death of B.T.
Collins, and was twice re-elected with more than 60 percent of the vote. Still, Fazio
was taken to the limit in 1994 and 1996 by an ultraconservative Christian fundamentalist
named Tim LeFever, races that cost the incumbent in excess of $2 million. Alby, however,
does not have a free ride into the finals. Doug Ose, who comes from a prominent family
of Sacramento area developers and was a leader of successful incorporation efforts
in suburban Citrus Heights, also has been active in military base reuse issues --
a big-ticket item with residents stung by multiple base closures in the area -- and
is a member of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Commission. He has the backing
of Sacramento County Supervisor Dave Cox, who is running for Alby's Assembly seat,
the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs Association and a host of local and state political
and business leaders. Also seeking the Republican nomination are Yolo County farmer
Charles Schaupp, who ran unsuccessfully against LeFever two years ago and is a member
of the Esparto school board, and Nathan Arrowsmith of Red Bluff. On the Democratic
side, Carmichael attorney Sandra Dunn, who specializes in water issues and has been
endorsed by Fazio and Democratic Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, is the front-runner.
Water is a major issue in the 3rd District, where debate has raged over flood control,
dam safety and whether to build the Auburn Dam. The other known Democrat in the race
is Howard Beeman, a Yolo County organic farmer who was a pioneer in developing farming
techniques that do not use chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides. Other Democratic
candidates in the crowded race are Sarb Basrai, a third-generation Yuba City farmer
and former public defender, and Bob Kent, a Yuba City businessman and corporate trainer.
(Voter registration: 37% D -47% R) -- Democrat:
David Shapiro of Garden Valley. Republican: Incumbent John Doolittle of Roseville.
Libertarian: Dan Winterrowd of Pilot Hill.
No contest for conservative Republican John T. Doolittle, although the Democratic
candidate, medical social worker David Shapiro, has given the race an interesting
twist. He plans to take no campaign contributions and is asking that all contributions
be made instead to local community organizations and fraternal groups. He plans to
raise $300,000 to $500,000.
(Voter registration: 54% D - 30% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Robert Matsui of Sacramento. Republicans: Robert Dinsmore and Edward
Gorre of Sacramento. Libertarian: Douglas Tuma of Antelope.
Many local observers thought that Democrat Matsui would be the first Sacramento-area
incumbent to retire, but Vic Fazio beat him to it.
(Voter Registration: 52% D - 30% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Lynn Woolsey of Petaluma. Republicans: Ken McAuliffe and Gisele
Stavert of San Rafael. Natural Law: Alan Barreca of Santa Rosa.
Democratic registration has dropped a couple of clicks since last time around, but
neither of the GOP prospects are positioned either money- or name-wise to give Woolsey
much of a fight in November. Thus, the race between McAuliffe and Stavert is mostly
for who gets bragging rights at the next GOP convention.
(Voter Registration: 60% D - 23% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent George Miller of Concord. Republican: Norman Reece of Vallejo.
Despite a slight trend in the district toward older voters, the relatively liberal
Miller's 12 terms scares off any credible competition in either party.
(Voter Registration: 61% D - 14% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Nancy Pelosi. Republican: David Martz. Natural Law: David
Smithstein. All of San Francisco.
Pelosi won her 1996 general with 85 percent of the vote. She's untouchable by any
(Voter Registration: 66% D - 12% R) -- Democrats:
Greg Harper of Emeryville, Incumbent Barbara Lee and Randall Stewart of Oakland.
Republican: Claiborne "Clay" Sanders of Oakland. Natural Law:
Walter Ruehlig of Antioch. Peace and Freedom: Gerald Sanders of Oakland.
Since the beginning of the 1970s, the East Bay Democratic strongholds of Oakland
and Berkeley have been represented by Ron Dellums, one-time chair of the House Armed
Services Committee and one of Congress' most liberal members. But Dellums' brand
of liberalism got scant attention after the GOP took over Congress in 1994, and talk
of a Dellums retirement began almost immediately after he won election to his 13th
term in 1996. When the clatter about a Dellums retirement accelerated, several prominent
Oakland pols took a look, including Mayor Elihu Harris. But it was clear Dellums
was bent on passing the torch to Barbara Lee, a state legislator who only two years
ago won election to the Senate. Dellums announced his support for Lee simultaneously
with his announcement that he would not finish out his term, sending most prospective
competitors elsewhere. Only Harper, an Emeryville councilman, and family services
director Randal Stewart remained. Lee, dominant in both money and organization, made
short work of them in the April special election to fill the vacated seat. The April
victory allows her to run as an incumbent, even though she is not officially designated
as one on the primary ballot.
(Voter Registration: 41% D - 42% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Ellen Tauscher of Danville. Republicans: Don Amador of Oakley, Charles
Ball of San Ramon, Gordon Blake of Brentwood, Dave Williams of Livermore. Natural
Law: Valerie Janlois of Danville. Reform: John Place of Walnut Creek.
When millionaire moderate Democrat Ellen Tauscher upset incumbent Bill Baker two
years ago, it cost her more than $2 million, $1.4 million of it her own. She seemed
destined to become Northern California's answer to Jane Harman -- a Democrat in a
"borrowed" district who would have to spend her own money year after year
to hold the seat. But Tauscher's moderate voting record and membership in the centrist
"New Dog Democrat" caucus brought her glowing press reviews at home and
an air of electoral invincibility. The GOP tried to find a high-profile opponent.
Oh, how they tried. Early recruiting efforts centered on recently retired San Francisco
'49ers player Brent Jones and conservative local talk-show host Barbara Simpson.
But Jones took a job with CBS Sports instead, and Simpson said she couldn't handle
nine months without an income.With Baker ruling out another run, the GOP was left
with second-tier opposition. Of the four Republicans in the race, Ball, a youthful
national security analyst at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, seems to have the most
organization and enough money to at least make stir. Williams likely has the most
name identification, as he's been on the GOP ballot every year for the last decade.
Blake, a longtime member of the GOP central committee, could have some GOP connections.
But none are believed able to get the kind of traction necessary to take out Tauscher,
unless they get a lot of help from outside and it's an unbelievably good Republican
(Voter Registration: 46% D - 41% R) -- Democrat:
Robert L. Figueroa of Manteca. Republican: Incumbent Richard Pombo of Tracy.
Libertarian: Jesse Baird of Stockton.
Three-term Republican Richard Pombo is a conservative, cowboy-hatted, former Tracy
city councilman and fourth-generation rancher who has repeatedly beaten back Democratic
challengers. No difference this year. The Democratic candidate this time around is
a Manteca real estate consultant, Robert Figueroa.
(Voter Registration: 54% D - 26% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Tom Lantos of Hillsborough. Republican: Robert Evans of San Francisco.
Libertarian: Michael Moloney of San Mateo.
Evans' late filing was all that prevented Lantos from receiving a completely free
ride in 1998.
(Voter Registration: 56% D - 26% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Fortney "Pete" Stark of Fremont. Republican: James Goetz
of Fremont. Natural Law: Karnig Beylikjian of San Jose.
The grand prize for gratuitous, below-the-belt hits was won by Stark's 1996 GOP opponent,
who sent out a mailer showing a Stark look-alike talking to a woman identified as
"Pete Stark's Whore." That opponent, university professor James Fay, is
not around this time, nor is anybody else who can get close to beating the blunt-spoken
(Voter Registration: 47% D - 33% R) -- Democrats:
Incumbent Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto and George Kiehle of Los Altos. Republicans:
John Haugen of Palo Alto and Henry Manzler of San Jose. Libertarian: Joseph
Dehn III of Stanford. Natural Law: Anna Currivan of Los Altos.
Three-term incumbent Eshoo draws token primary opposition this time out, but nothing
she can't handle. Her 1994 and '96 opponent, Ben Brink, opted out this time, but
whether it's teacher Haugen or small business owner Manzler, Eshoo is poised to cruise
again in the fall.
(Voter Registration: 45% D - 37% R) -- Democrats:
Dick Lane of San Jose, Connor Vlakancic of Los Gatos. Republican: Incumbent
Tom Campbell of Campbell. Natural Law: Frank Strutner of Santa Clara.
Democrats' best chance to take this seat was in the special election held when former
Representative Norm Mineta retired. Dick Lane, a San Jose State professor whose ballot
designation also lists "father" as his occupation, was the Democratic sacrifice
last time. He'll likely serve the same function again.
(Voter Registration: 52% D - 28% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Zoe Lofgren of San Jose. Republican: Horace Thayn of San Jose. Natural
Law: John Black of Palo Alto.
Another easy ride for Lofgren.
(Voter Registration: 52% D - 29% R) -- Democrats:
Incumbent Sam Farr of Carmel, Art Dunn of Monterey. Republicans: Mark Cares
of Pacific Grove and Bill McCampbell of Monterey. Libertarian: Rick Garrett
of Aptos. Natural Law: Scott Hartley of Watsonville.
Incumbent Sam Farr once again faces little significant opposition, including yet
another run at the seat by perennial Republican candidate Bill McCampbell, a lawyer
who runs an international consulting business. The other Republican in the race is
Mark Cares of Monterey, who lists his occupation as a cook.
(Voter Registration: 49% D - 36% R) --
Democrat: Incumbent Gary Condit of Ceres. Libertarian: Ken Aaroe of Vernalis.
"Blue Dog" Democrat Gary Condit can turn his attention to meddling in other
Central Valley races.
(Voter Registration: 41% D - 45% R) -- Republican:
Incumbent George Radanovich of Mariposa. Libertarian: Jonathan Richter of
The burning question: Can George Radanovich, going for a third term, hold off a late
charge by Libertarian Jonathan Richter?
(Voter Registration: 53% D - 33% R) -- Democrats:
Incumbent Cal Dooley of Visalia, John Estrada of Fresno and Tom Vontz of Buttonwillow.
Republicans: Devin G. Nunes of Pixley and Cliff Unruh of Reedley.
Visalia farmer Cal Dooley has represented the district since 1990, when he upset
the Republican incumbent. Although Democratic registration has been steadily declining,
and it is regarded as a swing district, Dooley has not been troubled come election
time. Still, he's drawn primary opposition from a pair of Democrats. Dooley wields
increasing influence in the House, however, as co-founder of the 43-member New Democrat
Coalition of moderate and conservative House Democrats. On the Republican side, Cliff
Unruh of Reedley, a longtime field representative for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,
is running again after an unsuccessful 1996 bid. Also running on the Republican ticket
is Pixley farmer and school trustee Devin G. Nunes.
(Voter Registration: 37% D - 48% R) -- Republican:
Incumbent Bill Thomas of Bakersfield. Reform: John Evans of Bakersfield.
Bill Thomas' influence among Central Valley Republicans continues to grow..
(Voter Registration: 41% D - 41% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Lois Capps of Santa Barbara. Republicans: Tom Bordonaro of Paso
Robles and James Harrison of San Luis Obispo. Libertarian: Robert Bakhaus.
Reform: Richard D. "Dick" Porter of San Simeon.
The November general election will see a re-match of the bruising special election
fight in March that pitted Lois Capps, widow of Walter Capps, against Assemblyman
Tom Bordonaro. After a plethora of TV ads paid for by independent expenditures representing
special interests, Capps won by 8 points in this intensely competitive district.
Bordonaro faces one other Republican in the primary, James Harrison, a San Luis Obispo
physician and businessman.
(Voter Registration: 42% D - 40% R) -- Democrat:
Dan Gonzales. Republican: Incumbent Elton Gallegly. Both of Simi Valley.
With the open primary this year, it's simple: Take the June results, and use them
as the rough guide to November. Gallegly both times.
(Voter Registration: 45% D - 39% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Brad Sherman of Sherman Oaks. Republicans: Joe Gelman of Van Nuys,
Randy Hoffman of Thousand Oaks, William Westmiller of Thousand Oaks. Libertarian:
Erich Miller of Reseda. Peace and Freedom: Ralph Shroyer of Woodland Hills.
Natural Law: Catherine Carter of Malibu.
This eastern San Fernando Valley district, which liberal Democrat Tony Beilenson
held by the skin of his teeth until his retirement in 1996, has been on the national
Republican target list throughout the 1990s. Yet, it always seems to wind up being
held by Democrats. In 1994, an all-out GOP blitz in support of self-funded moderate
Republican Rich Sybert fell short of beating Beilenson by two points. In 1996, when
the seat was open, Sybert lost by a wider margin, though he held Democrat Brad Sherman
to 50 percent. Now Sherman, the balding former Board of Equalization member who handed
out campaign combs as a joke in 1996, is back as an incumbent and the Republicans
have recruited another deep pocket to run against him. Randy Hoffman is the co-founder
and president of Magellan Systems, a company that manufactures satellite tracking
devices for civilian and military use. Hoffman weighed in with roughly half a million
dollars at the start, and expects to spend at least a million or more by the time
it's all over. Hoffman has most of the national GOP establishment backing him, and
is positioning himself as a pragmatic conservative, pro-business but moderate on
social issues. His opponents accuse him of being a dilletante who is fuzzy on the
issues and is trying to buy the election. The most vocal critic is Joe Gelman, a
conservative newspaper columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Gelman hasn't a
hundredth of Hoffman's wealth, but he does have an endorsement that plays with conservatives
-- former GOP Senate candidate Bruce Herschensohn. Despite this help, the primary
appears to be Hoffman's to lose. But his troubles will really begin in the fall campaign.
It's relatively close in registration, but as swing districts go, it has a decidedly
Democratic tilt, having supported both Boxer and Feinstein in 1992. And Sherman will
certainly have some money of his own.
(Voter Registration: 38% D - 47% R) -- Republican:
Incumbent Howard "Buck" McKeon of Stevenson Ranch. Libertarian:
Bruce Acker of Chatsworth.
Two years ago, McKeon attracted a Republican primary opponent, albeit a fairly benign
one. This year, he couldn't even goad a Democrat into opposing him.
(Voter Registration: 60% D - 24% R) -- Democrats:
Incumbent Howard Berman of North Hollywood, Raul Godinez of San Fernando. Republican:
Maria Armoudian of Granada Hills. Libertarian: Juan Carlos Ros of Studio
City. Reform: Carlos Herreravillate of Van Nuys. Natural Law: David
Cossak of Valley Village.
Despite his long tenure, Berman always seems to draw primary opposition. From the
outside, this year's challenger seemed to have at least some experience behind him,
as Godinez is the mayor of San Fernando. But the challenge turns out to be a local
dispute -- Godinez was angered by a Berman anti-crime mailer which Godinez felt disparaged
his city. A hopeless challenge to an 8-term incumbent seems a strange way to make