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Districts 1 - 26
Districts 27 - 52


Districts 2 - 40

Districts 1 - 20
Districts 21 - 40
Districts 41 - 60
Districts 61 - 80


(Voter Registration: 50% D - 31% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Virginia Strom-Martin of Duncans Mills. Republican: Sam Crump of Sebastopol. Peace and Freedom: Pamela Elizondo of Laytonville.

As a newcomer in 1996, Strom-Martin needed the heavy support of both the California Teachers Association and Assembly Democrats to get through the primary and beat Republican Margie Handley. Sebastopol Councilman Crump expects some help from Handley, and the November race could heat up due to sparks from the overlapping 2nd Senate District, which both parties covet.



(Voter Registration: 39% D - 45% R) -- Democrat: Francie L. Sullivan of Palo Cedro. Republicans: Art Brandwood of Yuba City, Richard Dickerson of Redding. Libertarian: Pete Bret of Redding.

This increasingly conservative and geographically huge rural district, where Democratic registration has dropped 2 points since the 1996 primary, has drawn a pair of Republicans with strong law enforcement credentials -- Sutter County Sheriff Brandwood and Shasta County Supervisor Dickerson -- as well as Democrat Sullivan, chair of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. Brandwood has the endorsement of the current incumbent, Republican Tom Woods, who decided not to run for a third term, as well as from a host of other conservative legislators, present and former, two area congressmen, John Doolittle and Richard Pombo, and numerous law enforcement groups and officials. A 37-year career police officer, he has been sheriff of Sutter County since 1991. Dickerson, a longtime former lawman in the Riverside Police Department and state Department of Justice, was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to fill a vacancy on the Shasta County Board of Supervisors in 1994, and then ran unopposed for the seat. He, too, has numerous law enforcement and legislative endorsements, including former area state legislators Jim Nielson and Stan Statham. Dickerson backers insist he has an edge over Brandwood because he is "funded, endorsed and popular in the vote-rich part of the district."



(Voter Registration: 39% D - 44% R) -- Democrat: Scott Gruendl of Chico. Republicans: Sam Aanestad of Grass Valley, David Reade of Chico.

The two GOP contenders are jockeying for the title "most conservative" to gain this northeastern corner district long held by termed-out GOP Assemblyman Bernie Richter. Reade, one-time campaign manager and now chief of staff and son-in-law to Richter, has Capitol connections and backing from several county party leaders, as well as ensorsements from Congressman Richard Pombo, local government and law enforcement officials. He has also served as chairman for the Butte County Republican Party. Aanestad, an oral surgeon and former school board chairman, has his own hefty list of endorsements along with substantial name ID, having made a respectable showing against Richter in the 1992 primary. He has backing from some political poohbahs, including Congressman John Doolittle and Assemblyman Curt Pringle. Democrat Scott Gruendl, a former Chico Planning Commission chair, can only brace himself.


(Voter registration: 37% D - 48% R) -- Democrat: Mark Norberg of Roseville. Republicans: Incumbent Thomas "Rico" Oller of San Andreas, Ray Nutting of Placerville. Libertarian: Bob Mulvany of Murphys.

One of the most conservative districts in the state seated with one of the most conservative incumbents, the 4th could still end up as an blanket-primary test case. The 1996 primary struck some all-time lows, with nasty rumors, mud-filled mailers and an alleged bribery attempt. Oller's Democratic opponent in '96, Erike Young, is actively recruiting Democrats to cross over to Republican moderate Nutting -- a ploy endorsed by Democrat Norberg. Whether businessman and rancher Nutting, a six-year member of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, can muster funds to seriously challenge Oller is another matter. Last time around, Oller had the personal resources and the Sacramento connections to stomp out any challenges. And now, he's an incumbent. Even open-heart surgery, which Oller had in April, won't slow him down unless the cross-over is substantial.



(Voter registration: 40% D - 44% R) -- Democrats: Linda Davis of Fair Oaks, John Molina of Orangevale. Republicans: Dave Cox of Fair Oaks, Sandee Felley of Elverta, Sam Paredes of Folsom, David Pickett of Folsom. Libertarian: Gene Frazier of Sacramento.

A crowded field of candidates has emerged for the seat left vacant by termed-out Republican Barbara Alby, who is running for Congress. The best-known is Cox, a Sacramento County supervisor whose supervisorial district covers two-thirds of the Assembly district and who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1996, receiving 46 percent of the vote against longtime incumbent Democrat Leroy Greene. Cox actually beat Greene in this part of the Senate district. He begins the race with more than $100,000 cash on hand, having raised $180,000. He has been endorsed by, among others, Sacramento County Sheriff Glen Craig, District Attorney Jan Scully, one current and two former Folsom mayors, and other state and local officials. Also running is Republican businessman Paredes of Folsom, a former Deukmejian and Wilson administration official whose honorary campaign chairman is Dennis Alby, husband of Barbara. Paredes has the backing of numerous conservative Republican legislators as well as the California Republican Assembly and the Young Republican Federation of California. Democrats in the heavily Republican district include Davis, a director of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.


(Voter Registration: 52% D - 29% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Kerry Mazzoni of San Rafael. Republicans: Peter Romanowsky of Sausalito, Ed Sullivan of San Anselmo, Russ Weiner of Sausalito. Peace and Freedom: Coleman Perily of San Rafael.

Democrat Mazzoni goes for her third and final term, and given the less-than-sterling GOP registration in this Marin County district, she likely won't have much of a sweat. On the GOP side, how can you get better name recognition among vote-heavy boomers than "Ed Sullivan?"



(Voter Registration: 53% D - 31% R) -- Democrats: Ernie Demuth of American Canyon, John Latimer of Santa Rosa, Deborah Russell of Napa, Pat Wiggins of Santa Rosa. Republican: Bob Sanchez of Napa. Libertarian: Mike Rodrigues of Napa. Peace and Freedom: Irv Sutley of Glen Ellen.

With term limits about to end her legislative career, incumbent Democrat Valerie Brown hopes to hand her wine country seat off to John Latimer, her Capitol chief of staff. But handoffs are seldom as easy as they once were, since incumbents no longer wield the clout necessary to clear the field. In this case, Latimer faces not one but two credible challengers. The strongest of the pair is Russell, a Napa County realtor with a reasonably sized bankroll. Russell's entry into the race slowed Latimer's endorsement march through the Legislature and occasioned some of his early endorsers to switch to dual endorsements. Wiggins, a Santa Rosa councilwoman, staked herself to a $30,000 loan, but had already begun paying it back shortly after the campaign finance reporting period closed, a warning flag for a campaign. For his part, Latimer has been effective at raking in money from the usual Sacramento suspects, reporting more than $100,000 by the end of March. But Russell's camp believes it can paint Latimer as something of an interloper, since his time with Brown has largely been spent in Sacramento rather than in the district. Waiting in the wings is Sanchez, a businessman who flirted with a run for the state Senate before switching over to the Assembly.


(Voter Registration: 50% D - 33% R) -- Democrats: Incumbent Helen Thomson of Davis, Michael Hayes Jr. of Benicia. Republicans: Deanna Myhre of Vacavile, Toni Thompson of Woodland.

Incumbent Thomson, a former psychiatric nurse, has no significant Democratic opposition in her bid for a second term. A three-term Yolo County supervisor and 12-year veteran of the Davis School Board, she faces Hayes, a 25-year old Maritime Academy student. On the GOP side, attorney Myhre, a former staffer to Democratic state Senator Barry Keene, is past chair of the Solano County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission. Thompson is a Woodland city planning commissioner who co-owns a heating and air- conditioning business.



(Voter Registration: 60% D - 23% R) -- Democrats: Leslie J. Cochren, Frances Gracechild, Alice Huffman, Robert Pernell and Darrell Steinberg. Republicans: Irma Belmontes-Boreman and Mike Dismukes. All of Sacramento.

The race to succeed incumbent Democrat Deborah Ortiz, who is running for state Senate, will be decided in the Democratic primary and as a result, a host of Democrats have taken the plunge. Perhaps the best-known is Steinberg, a lawyer, administrative law judge and the Sacramento councilman responsible for a city ordinance banning the sale of so-called "junk" guns. He has been endorsed by Ortiz, Mayor Joe Serna Jr., Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa and numerous other local officials, civic leaders and labor unions. Public-affairs consultant Huffman, a former California Teachers Association lobbyist, also boasts an impressive list of supporters -- San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr., former Attorney General John Van de Kamp and former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley -- but not much of a political base in the district. Huffman, who served in the Jerry Brown administration and chairs the state Black American Political Association, did not earn the nod from her former employer, however. The CTA endorsement went to Steinberg. Huffman also is hampered by the fact that she is not the only African-American in the race in a district with a substantial black voting population. Pernell, a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board, is carrying the mantle of the late Sam Pannell, a county supervisor and community icon among blacks who died earlier this year. Pannell was expected to make this race, and Pernell has been endorsed by his widow. He also has received several endorsements from labor groups, including the Central Labor Council. He is the founder of Meadowview Community Action, a non-profit group which operates HeadStart, job training and other programs. The Democratic field is rounded out with Cochren, a certified fraud examiner, and Gracechild, a health care activist who serves as director of the nonprofit Resources for Independent Living. The top three Democrats -- Steinberg, Pernell and Huffman -- all have raised in excess of $65,000 each. Steinberg already has phone banks running, while Huffman has been the beneficiary of at least one Willie Brown fund raiser. Steinberg, on the other hand, doesn't get much of a boost from his council seat, which overlaps with up only a small portion of the Assembly district.



(Voter Registration: 43% D - 43% R) -- Democrats: Debra Gravert and Ken Price of Elk Grove. Republicans: Rolfe Appel of Sacramento, John Gillis of Rancho Murieta, Alan Nakanishi of Lodi, Robert "Bob" Neilson of Sacramento, Bruce Nelson of Sacramento, Phillip Pennino of Lodi, Anthony Pescetti of Rancho Cordova, Joseph Piazza of Sacramento and Toros Saraydarian of Wilton. Libertarian: Tom Kohlhepp of Lodi.

With incumbent Republican Larry Bowler termed out, a flood of candidates, mainly Republicans, have joined the fight to represent this conservative-leaning area of southern Sacramento and northern San Joaquin counties. Democrat Matt Moretti, son of the late Speaker Bob Moretti, came within 4 points of taking Bowler out in 1996, but Moretti decided not to run again, leaving the uphill chore to two Democrats with limited name recognition -- Gravert, a longtime legislative staffer who is currently chief of staff to Assemblyman Dick Floyd, and Price, a former deputy state insurance commissioner and owner of an insurance and real estate firm. If past is prologue, the GOP primary should produce the eventual winner, and that field includes: Pescetti, a director of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and principal in a corporate consulting firm, who has raised some $100,000, including a $75,000 loan from a family business; Pennino, a Lodi councilman who has reportedly raised about $50,000, including $7500 from developer Alex Spanos; Nakanishi, a Lodi physician who spent time as a young child in the Tule Lake internment camp during World War II and who has received contributions from area medical groups and also from Spanos; Gillis, a retired LAPD lieutenant who has been a member of the state Board of Prison Terms since 1991; and Piazza, a Clarksburg principal and former Senate staffer. Other Republicans with somewhat less visibility are Appel, a sheriff's lieutenant; Neilson, a retired correctional sergeant; Nelson, a contractor; and Saraydarian, a veterinarian. Pennino and Pescetti have emerged in the early going, with Pennino banking on his electoral prowess in Lodi, which includes about a quarter of the district's registered voters. This is Pescetti's second try for the seat, having run against Bowler in the 1992 primary, when the 10th was an open seat. He finished fourth out of five GOP candidates. His wife owns a direct-mail firm -- Admail/West -- which should help him keep his flyers in district mailboxes.


(Voter Registration: 53% D - 30% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent TomTorlakson.

Too close to call.


(Voter Registration: 58% D - 17% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Kevin Shelley. Republican: Mike Fitzgerald. Both of San Francisco.

Shelley, the new Democratic floor leader, will be spending most of his fund-raising time helping other, more endangered caucus members.


(Voter Registration: 62% D - 13% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Carole Migden. Republican: Randy Bernard. Both of San Francisco.

California Journal's Rookie of the Year has nothing to worry about at home and will also spend her time helping others, as she did in 1996 when running unopposed.


(Voter Registration: 68% D - 11% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Dion Aroner of Berkeley. Republican: Jerald Udinsky of Oakland.

Aroner would figure to be a lock to return to the Assembly next year, but that may not be where she's headed. The election of Barbara Lee to serve out the unexpired term of retired Representative Ron Dellums has opened a Senate seat, and Aroner has announced her candidacy. Such a Senate run poses virtually no risk to Aroner -- she's still on the ballot in both races. But a Senate race wouldn't necessarily be a slam dunk for Aroner. Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson has all but declared for the race and could bring with him the backing of both Lee and Dellums. Meanwhile, the list of prospective contenders could grow further once the primary is over in the Oakland mayor's race, as mayoral all-so-rans hunt for another place to park.


(Voter Registration: 38% D - 46% R) -- Democrats: Charles Brydon of Danville, Daniel White of Walnut Creek. Republican: Incumbent Lynne Leach of Walnut Creek. Libertarian: Duncan Wheat of Livermore.

The most Republican district in the Bay Area is appropriately enough represented by one of the Legislature's most conservative members. Democratic recruiting was half-hearted, and Leach should walk to re-election despite almost losing in 1996.


(Voter Registration: 66% D - 14% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Don Perata of Alameda. Republican: Linda Marshall of Oakland.

Perata, who started the year as a rival to Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, never has to worry about being appreciated at home.


(Voter Registration: 50% D - 38% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Michael Machado of Stockton. Republican: Jay Smart of Manteca.

Although two-term incumbent Machado faced both a recall and a tough race in 1996, he still won by 7 points in a district where the Democratic registration edge is slowly eroding and, like the rest of the Central Valley, becoming more conservative. His November oppoent is a Manteca councilman.



(Voter Registration: 58% D - 25% R) -- Democrats: Ellen Corbett of San Leandro, Terrence Cotcher of Hayward, Ben Elias of Union City, Bill Ward of Hayward. Republican: Carol Nowicki of Castro Valley.

One of two adjacent Contra Costa Assembly seats which opened up when their incumbents filed to run for the state Senate. All four of the Democrats boast some kind of elective background, but only Corbett and Ward have geographic bases large enough to make an appreciable dent in the electorate. Corbett, the mayor of San Leandro, has been involved in some regional transportation issues and has also served as an education liason. Ward is a Hayward city councilman viewed as relatively sharp by associates. His fund raising has lagged well behind that of Corbett, but he has a slew of local endorsements including Corbett's three mayoral predecessors. Union City Councilman Elias gave himself a $15,000 loan the last day before filing his campaign report to pump up his numbers, but overall fund raising weakness and lack of a regional core of votes hurts his chances. The primary battle will likely turn on which candidate is better able to mobilize his or her base. Corbett has an organizational edge, but Hayward is larger than San Leandro. The two should be pretty evenly matched if Ward is able to raise the money he needs.


(Voter Registration: 54% D - 28% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Lou Papan of Millbrae. Republican: Penny Ferguson of Pacifica. Libertarian: Steve Marsland of Pacifica.

The "new Lou" arrived in Sacramento a little quieter but otherwise much like the "old Lou," who served during the 1970s and '80s -- ornery, obstreperous, and invincible in his district.



(Voter Registration: 48% D - 32% R) -- Democrats: Val Bettencourt, John Dutra, John Weed. Republicans: Linda Widmar, Jonelle Zager. All of Fremont.

This is the other half of the Lockyer Senate seat -- the one vacated by incumbent Liz Figueroa. A slew of candidates took an early look at the race, including Milpitas Mayor Henry Manayan and San Jose City Councilwoman Margie Fernandes. Eventually, most of them settled on Dutra, a real estate agent who spent 10 years on the Fremont City Council. Dutra is highlighting his "fiscal conservatism" and was at one time a Republican before switching to the Democratic Party. Nonetheless, Weed, who serves on the Alameda County Water District board, is touting himself as the more conservative of the two. Even Bettencourt, a relatively underfunded former county central committee chair, is sounding like a "new" Democrat. Why are Democrats talking conservatism? The registration tells the story -- Democratic numbers have dropped 2 percent since 1992, with most of those voters shifting to decline-to-state. The district supported Pete Wilson in 1994 and also backed Propositions 187 and 209. Given his long tenure in Fremont, the largest city in the district, most locals give Dutra the edge; he's got money and an organization and would be helped if Figueroa concentrates on her own base in Fremont. But the two Republicans in the race -- Widmar and Zager -- also figure to target the city. Zager is a current member of the Fremont City Council and Widmar serves on the Fremont Board of Education. The question for the GOP candidates is whether they can convince the GOP powers that be that the Democrat is weak enough to warrant targeting the seat.

This page first published May 25, 1998

Last updated May 25, 1998

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