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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: 48% D - 34% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Ted Lempert of San Carlos. Republican: Lavern Atherly of Redwood City. Natural Law: Marilyn Bryant of Palo Alto.

Though its registration may be slightly more favorable to Republicans than the 20th, this suburban seat is a safe haven for Lempert, the former legislator who spent time as a county supervisor before coming back to Sacramento in 1996.


(Voter Registration: 48% D - 32% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Elaine Alquist of Santa Clara. Republican: Stan Kawczynski of Sunnyvale. Libertarian: Paul Rako of Sunnyvale. Natural Law: Rich Dunstan of San Jose.

Another district which is more conservative in registration than in temperment, the area is the former Assembly home of John Vasconcellos, and is currently Alquist's safe seat.


(Voter Registration: 57% D - 23% R) -- Democrats: Incumbent Mike Honda, Patricia Martinez-Roach. Republican: Patrick DuLong. All of San Jose.

Martinez-Roach, a school board trustee, came in a distant third to Honda two years ago, when the seat was open, despite receiving some discrete help from members of the Latino Caucus. Now, Honda is an incumbent solidly in the camp of Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, whose bona fides with the district's Latino community are secure.


(Voter Registration: 42% D - 32% R) -- Democrat: Phil Stokes of Saratoga. Republicans: Incumbent Jim Cunneen of Los Altos, Donna Courtright and David Prince of Los Gatos. Libertarian: Ray Strong of San Jose.

In the past two elections, moderate Cunneen has mostly had to worry about the Democrats, as former California Teachers Association president Ed Foglia made unsuccessful runs at him in '94 and '96. This time, though, he faces competition in the primary, albeit fairly low-grade competition.


(Voter Registration: 43% D - 43% R) -- Democrats: Wesley Firch of Oakdale. Republican: Incumbent George House of Hughson. Libertarian: Jonathan Ira Zwickel of Madera. Reform: Leonard M. Surratt of Modesto.

Conservative House got to the Assembly in 1994 by knocking off an incumbent Democrat with an "A-plus" rating from the NRA. That tells you all you need to know about Democratic chances in this Central Valley district.



(Voter Registration: 51% D - 34% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Dennis Cardoza of Atwater. Republican: Patty Hollingsworth of Turlock. American Independent: Carl Towe of Ceres. Libertarian: David Eaton of Merced.

Cardoza, a former Merced and Atwater councilman, won by 87 votes in his first race for the Assembly in 1996 against Tom Berryhill, son of former state Agriculture Director and Senator Clare Berryhill. This time, the GOP mantle falls to Hollingsworth, a former legislative staffer to both Clare Berryhill and Senator Ken Maddy. She also served as a business and economic development director in the Deukmejian administration. This one heats up in the fall.


(Voter Registration: 50% D - 29% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Fred Keeley of Boulder Creek. Republicans: Chuck Carter of Monterey and Phil Chavez of Pebble Beach. Libertarian: Dirk Walker Deardorff of Santa Cruz.

Former Santa Cruz County Supervisor Keeley entered the Assembly as a rookie-plus in 1996, given his long prior service as chief of staff to area legislator Sam Farr, now a member of Congress. He has a strong environmental record in a coastal district concerned with such things, making the battle uphill for the two Republicans trying to overcome the Democrats' edge in voter registration: Carter, a conservative businessman and educator; and Chavez, who owns a Monterey-based agricultural export company. Chavez, who lives in Pebble Beach and can be expected to put some of his own money into the race, is a conservative who lost the 1996 GOP primary for the congressional seat held by Farr.



(Voter Registration: 51% D - 32% R) -- Democrat: Alan Styles of Salinas. Republican: Incumbent Peter Frusetta of Tres Pinos. Libertarian: Kate Woods of Paicines.

Running for his final term, Frusetta, who is rarely seen without his trademark Stetson and neckerchief, has been a constant target for Democrats. He twice defeated Democrat Lily Cervantes and likely will be in the bull's eye again, with his challenger three-term Salinas Mayor Styles, a Vietnam veteran and former East Salinas school board member.



(Voter Registration: 39% D - 47% R) -- Republicans: Mike Briggs of Fresno, Leslie Gulke of Clovis, Bill Maze of Visalia, and Naomi Strom of Fresno.

The race to succeed Chuck Poochigian, a candidate for state Senate, is an all-GOP affair featuring several well-known local officials and community activists. The early front-runner is Briggs, a Fresno councilman and mayor pro tem who teaches music at a community college and once served as chief of staff to former Senator Phil Wyman. Briggs is a staunch law-and-order defender who was joined at an early campaign rally by Fresnan Mike Reynolds of "three strikes" fame. His electoral base in Fresno overlaps a large chunk of the district and gives him an advantage in name recognition among likely voters. Gulke, owner of a fire protection/electrical contracting business and the wife of the vice-chairman of the Fresno County Republican Central Committee, claims to be "the" conservative in the race. Tulare County Supervisor Maze is in his second term on the board and is president of the San Joaquin Valley Supervisors Association. A farmer and general contractor, he has held a host of other community and local government positions. Strom is a member of the Board of Education for the 27,000-student Clovis Unified School District and a registered nurse endorsed by the Central Labor Council and the California Nurses Association.



(Voter Registration: 51% D - 35% R) -- Democrats: Dean Florez of Shafter, Greg Norris of Fresno. Republican: Incumbent Robert Prenter Jr. of Fresno.

Prenter, the politically unknown medical supply salesman with access to big Republican PAC money -- his uncle is conservative Christian broadcaster Edward Atsinger III, a founder of the California Independent Business PAC -- catapulted into the Assembly in 1996 by twice beating then-Assembly Speaker Brian Setencich (R-Fresno), once in the GOP primary and once in the general election, where Setencich ran a write-in campaign. Prior to Setencich's 1994 victory, the district was held by a Democrat, however, and Democrats want it back. Still, this is a conservative district, and Prenter now has the edge of incumbency. Of the two Democrats in the race, the official party blessing has gone to Florez, a former legislative staffer and Harvard-educated investment banker who is a municipal government consultant and has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO, California Teachers Association and several area legislators. His opponent is Norris, a customer service representive for Pacific Gas & Electric.



(Voter Registration: 55% D - 31% R) -- Democrats: Sarah Reyes of Fresno, Rosaline Velasco of Parlier. Republican: Dave Jackson of Kingsburg.

The most visible -- and anointed -- candidate for this heavily Democratic district currently represented by termed-out former Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante is Reyes, a well-known former television reporter in Sacramento and Fresno who is assistant to the chancellor of the State Center Community College District. She has the endorsements of just about every major Democratic officeholder in the area -- and several outside the area -- including Bustamante and Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, and is involved in a long list of community activities. The other Democrat, Velasco, is an area businesswoman and member of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee who has run for several offices in past years, including the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and mayor and treasurer of Parlier. She has also run campaigns for Parlier City Council. A transplant, she worked as an administrator for the state Departments of Transportation and Industrial Relations in Los Angeles for 13 years. The sole Republican candidate is a farmer in Kingsburg, a past president of the Fresno County School Trustee Association and the Kingsburg Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees.


(Voter Registration: 38% D - 49% R) -- Democrat: Robert Tucker of Bakersfield. Republican: Incumbent Roy Ashburn.

No contest in this heavily Republican district.



(Voter Registration: 39% D - 44% R) -- Democrats: Betty Sanders of San Luis Obispo. Republicans: Rene "Rick" Bravo of San Luis Obispo, Leon Paul Buttler of Lompoc, Steve Macelvaine of Morro Bay and Abel Maldonado of Santa Maria. Libertarian: David L. Bersohn of Arroyo Grande.

Republican incumbent Tom Bordonaro's decision to run for the congressional seat left vacat by the death of Democrat Walter Capps opened up this Assembly seat, and a flock of Republicans rushed in. Three of the four GOP candidates are fairly well-known in the staunchly Republican central coast district, but the contest has evolved between Maldonado, the mayor of Santa Maria, and Bravo, a pediatrician backed by party conservatives. A farmer and businessman, Maldonado is a skilled fund raiser who set city records for spending in both his council and mayoral races who thus far has raised $160,000 for the Assembly race, $90,000 of that a personal loan. Bravo reportedly has raised $100,000 without the benefit of loans, including $60,000 since the mid-March reporting period. He is chairman of the San Luis Obispo County Republican Central Committee, serves on numerous community boards, is a past president of the San Luis Obispo County Medical Society and was chief of staff at San Luis Obispo General Hospital. He is also active in party politics, both locally and statewide and has the support of several influential conservatives, including former Speaker Curt Pringle. Macelvaine, a former San Luis Obispo County supervisor who lost to Democratic Senator Jack O'Connell in 1994, is a rancher and former coastal commisioner, well-known in San Luis Obispo County. Buttler, who with his wife Linda owns the Village Coffee Stop in Vandenberg Village in Lompoc, is active in his community at the far end of the district but a virtual unknown elsewhere. Sanders, the sole Democrat in the race, is a registered nurse and lawyer who lost to Bordonaro in 1996.


(Voter Registration: 36% D - 47% R) -- Democrat: Steven Figueroa of Victorville. Republican: Incumbent Keith Olberg of Victorville. Libertarian: Jeffrey Laing of Tehachapi.

Facing his third -- and final -- term in the Assembly, Olberg is boxed in politically. He's nested in a Senate district where the incumbent, Republican Pete Knight, may serve until 2004. Still, Olberg is young and capable and likely will surface again.



(Voter Registration: 44% D - 36% R) -- Democrats: Hannah-Beth Jackson and Al Pizano of Santa Barbara. Republicans: Alan "Lanny" Ebenstein, David Lack and Chris Mitchum of Santa Barbara. Natural Law: Eric Dahl of Goleta.

The seat vacated by Republican Brooks Firestone's ill-fated decision to run for Congress opened up this Ventura and Santa Barbara coastal district, which has been represented by both parties in the 1990s. Among Republicans, the top fund raiser to date is Lack, a Santa Barbara building contractor and onetime campaign aide to Michael Huffington, who reported contributions of more than $180,000, including $115,000 from his own pocket. The money has allowed him to be first among the candidates to air television commercials. His connection to Huffington may not endear Lack to district voters, however. He is trailed in fund raising by Ebenstein, a Santa Barbara School District board member who disclosed $54,147 -- most of it loans from himself and others. The third Republican in the race is Mitchum, son of the late actor Robert Mitchum. A writer/actor who lives in Santa Barbara, Mitchum reported $13,875 in contributions, including $5,000 from his mother. Democrat Jackson, a Santa Barbara attorney who entered the race before Firestone decided not to run, has numerous endorsements from local officials, as well as from the major Democratic officeholders in the area -- Jack O'Connell and Lois Capps. A family lawyer and former prosecutor who has practiced in Ventura and Santa Barbara for 17 years, Jackson is the only woman in the race and promotes her pro-choice views on abortion in a region where the Capps- Bordonaro congressional contest raised the issue to superstatus. She reported nearly $55,000, including a $2,000 personal loan. Her fund raising has far exceeded the other Democratic candidate, Al Pizano, district manager of Southern California Gas.


(Voter Registration: 35% D - 49% R) -- Democrat: Paula Calderon of Santa Clarita. Republican: Incumbent George Runner of Lancaster. Libertarian: Gregory Bashem of Lancaster.

Two years ago, Runner was locked in a big-spending three-way primary contest for this rural Los Angeles County seat. His reward for survivng that race is a primary-free 1998.



(Voter Registration: 40% D - 42% R) -- Democrat: Rosalind McGrath of Camarillo. Republicans: John Lane of Moorpark, Jere Robings and Tony Strickland of Thousand Oaks, Rich Sybert of Camarillo, Toni Young of Port Hueneme. Reform: Michael Farris of Thousand Oaks.

When you want to see the cracks in a political party's unity, there's no better place to look than in the primary of a safe open seat. The forced retirement, due to term limits, of incumbent Nao Takasugi has opened the door to a once-removed continuation of the long-standing feud between the Pete Wilson wing of the Republican Party and the neo-libertarianism of GOP Assemblyman Tom McClintock. Perhaps intent on a little empire building, McClintock is backing Strickland, his chief aide. Strickland has lined up the customary battery of conservative supporters, including the California Republican Assembly and Traditional Values Coalition chief Lou Sheldon. On the other side is Sybert, former chief of Wilson's Office of Planning and Research, who is making his biennial run for elective office. In 1994 and '96, Sybert was the GOP nominee in the Ventura-centered 24th Congressional District, losing to former incumbent Tony Beilenson and current incumbent Brad Sherman, respectively. Although he's apparently lowered his expectations, Sybert still brings fund-raising clout, having outraised the rest of the field combined in the early going. Sybert also has the backing of Takasugi, as well as former Governor George Deukmejian. Still, Strickland has forced his opponent onto the defensive in the early going. Sybert mistakenly listed Vice President Dan Quayle on his official endorsement list, a gaffe which echoed his 1996 congressional mailer which implied an endorsement from Colin Powell. Sybert claimed it was a misunderstanding, then found an erroneous endorsement on Strickland's list. Fax wars aside, the biggest difference between the two candidates is money. Sybert's got it, or knows where he can get it -- his first congressional primary victory in 1994 was largely waged out of personal resources. Strickland is trying to make up for the shortage by endlessly walking precincts. But it's a big district.


(Voter Registration: 39% D - 42% R) -- Republican: Incumbent Tom McClintock of Northridge.

McClintock has spent almost his entire adult life in pursuit of public office. It just goes to show you hang around long enough and it gets easy.


(Voter Registration: 62% D - 22% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Tony Cardenas of Arleta. Libertarian: Kit Maira of North Hollywood.

Then again, there's something to be said for beginner's luck.


(Voter Registration: 55% D - 28% R) -- Democrat: Incumbent Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys. Republicans: Eunice Deleuw of Van Nuys, Kyle Hammans of Sherman Oaks. Libertarian: Kelley Ross of Van Nuys.

The ebullient Hertzberg is now the chair of the Assembly Rules Committee and has a swanky new office in the Capitol, all the result of backing the right horse in the speakership race.

This page first published May 25, 1998

Last updated May 25, 1998

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