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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 - 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 November.



(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 measure.


(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 year.


(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 liberal.


(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 Fresno.

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 a point.

This page first published May 25, 1998

Last updated May 25, 1998

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