of Public Instruction
Board of Equalization
Districts 2 - 40
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 51% D - 32% R) -- Democrats: Wes Chesbro of
Arcata, Timothy Stoen of Mendocino. Republicans: John Jordan of Santa Rosa,
John Pinches of Laytonville. Peace and Freedom: Brian Garay of Mendocino.
This somewhat quirky North Coast district has been nimbly represented since 1993
by moderate Democrat Mike Thompson. But with Thompson headed for a congressional
run, Republicans saw an opportunity to steal the seat if the stars all lined up just
right. Most GOP leaders see their star in John Jordan, a Santa Rosa businessman whose
father owns the Napa Valley's Jordan Winery. The 25-year-old Jordan, who owns his
own chain of local coffee shops, has spent the last three years getting himself on
the executive boards of charitable institutions and otherwise building his bona fides,
and early on he had already pumped about a quarter of a million dollars of family
money into his campaign. Jordan's wealth and his moderate views on social issues
have much of Sacramento's GOP leadership falling all over themselves with glee. But
Jordan's primary opponent, Mendocino County Supervisor John Pinches, points to the
array of conservative supporters and political consultants surrounding Jordan, suggesting
he may be a "stalking horse" for the far right. Pinches, who sports a cowboy
hat, is noteworthy for his support of the decriminalization of marijuana, representing
one of the few regions of the state where such a stand is viewed as a potential political
plus. A bigger problem for Pinches, though, is his refusal of any contribution above
$49 -- an artificial limitation guaranteed to keep him from competing financially
with Jordan. On the Democratic side, the clear favorite is Chesbro, a former Humbolt
County Supervisor who sits on the Integrated Waste Management Board. Stoen, who was
the attorney for cult mass-murderer, the Reverend Jim Jones, is given little chance
of winning. Republicans consider Chesbro a vulnerable opponent, particularly with
Jordan as their candidate, and most expect this race to be one of the most expensive
contests of the fall campaign.
(Voter Registration: 45% D - 40% R) -- Democrats:
Dominic De Bellis of Benicia; Mark DeSio of Davis. Republican: Incumbent
Maurice Johannessen of Redding.
It's an uphill battle for Democrats attempting to unseat the twice-elected ultraconservative
Johannessen. CalPERS employee Mark DeSio's connections could give him an edge in
the primary; he directed Representative Vic Fazio's 1994 re-election campaign in
the northern counties and has worked for state Senator Mike Thompson. He has the
early edge over Dom DeBellis, a teacher, who ran a very distant second to Helen Thomson
two years ago in the 8th Assembly District Democratic primary.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 46% D - 41% R) -- Democrats:
Joan Barry of Fair Oaks and Deborah Ortiz of Sacramento. Republicans: Richard
Davis of Sacramento, Mike McCollum of Sacramento and Chris Quackenbush of Rio Linda.
Libertarian: Gerald Klaas of Carmichael.
The retirement of incumbent Democrat Leroy Greene, a fixture on the Capitol scene
for more than three decades, has sparked what promises to be a fierce contest in
the increasingly conservative district, where Democratic registration has dropped
from 51 percent and where GOP registration has surged up from 35 percent since 1996.
One-term Assemblywoman Deborah Ortiz, a lawyer, former Sacramento City councilwoman
and longtime legislative staffer, is the odds-on Democratic favorite, but she faces
a much stiffer fight for this seat than for the heavily Democratic 9th District Assembly
seat she currently holds. Her Democratic opponent is Joan Barry, executive director
of Serve Our Seniors and an unsuccessful candidate for the Assembly in the 5th District
in 1992 and 1994. On the Republican side, the clear favorite is Chris Quackenbush,
a successful businesswoman and wife of state Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush.
The owner of Ski Park Boat & Ski, a boat dealership and water ski school, she
has run several companies over the years and was chair of the Silicon Valley Council
of the American Electronics Association for three years. Given her GOP connections,
she has been endorsed by a host of present and former Republican officeholders, including
her husband. In terms of name recognition -- it's a hard name to forget -- and party
support, she clearly outdistances the other major Republican candidate, businessman
Michael McCollum, who served as deputy secretary for the Resources Agency and chief
deputy director of the Department of Fish and Game in the Deukmejian administration.
He served on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and Tahoe
Regional Planning Agency. The other Republican candidate, Richard Davis, owns the
"How's It Hanging Closet Company" in Sacramento.
(Voter registration: 56% D - 23% R) -- Democrats:
John Riordan of San Francisco, Jackie Speier of Daly City. Republican: Jim
Tomlin of San Mateo.
The term-limit imposed departure of independent Senator Quentin Kopp paves the way
for Jackie Speier's return trip to Sacramento. Speier, who served in the Assembly
for a decade before being shunted aside by term limits in 1996, has a bushel basket
of Sacramento contacts and can overwhelm attorney John Riordan in fund raising, organization
and endorsements. She should have an even easier time disposing of Republican Jim
Tomlin in the fall.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter registration: 53% D - 29% R) -- Democrats:
Lindy Batara and Liz Figueroa of Fremont, Mike Sweeney of Hayward. Republican:
Bob Gough of Milpitas.
It is the classic term-limit match-up: two assembly members, representing adjacent
districts nested within a single Senate seat, running against each other to replace
the termed-out senator. In this case, the term-limit victim is former Senate President
pro Tempore Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward), who is running for attorney general. The two
nested combatants are Assemblymembers Liz Figueroa and Mike Sweeney, whose adjoining
Contra Costa County Assembly districts meet up in Pleasanton. As individuals, the
two couldn't be more different. Figueroa is one of the Legislature's most gregarious
members while Sweeney is, at times, quiet almost to the point of invisibility. But
the two share an almost identical voting record and close ties with Lockyer who,
at least initially, is remaining neutral. Sweeney, the former mayor of Hayward, has
been active on local government issues, and as a result has picked up the lion's
share of local endorsements, including the mayor of Figueroa's home city, Fremont.
Figueroa's base of support comes largely from legislative colleagues, and her advocacy
of physician discipline reform has also earned her supporters in the business and
health communities. She out-raised Sweeney in the early going. The two describe themselves
as friends, and each has vowed not to hit the other below the belt. But given the
obvious competitiveness of the race, it seems inevitable the two will clash before
the primary is finished. The only saving grace is that whoever survives the primary
will cruise in the fall, as the district's registration virtually assures Democratic
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 46% D - 39% R) -- Democrat:
Sal Cannella of Ceres. Republican: Incumbent Richard Monteith of Modesto.
Libertarian: Mary Lee Gowland of Coarsegold.
Former Assemblyman Sal Cannella, who was termed-out in 1996, is making a run for
the Senate seat currently held by Republican Richard Monteith, a conservative Republican
who rode the 1994 Republican wave to beat incumbent Democrat Dan McCorquodale. Given
the district's electoral history and Cannella's experience, both sides will spend
heavily here in November. The primary, however, will be a quiet affair.
(Voter Registration: 38% D - 48% R) -- Republican:
Charles "Chuck" Poochigian.
No contest, literally, for popular Fresno Assemblyman Charles "Chuck" Poochigian,
to succeed veteran termed-out Republican Ken Maddy.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 53% D - 33% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Jim Costa of Fresno. Republican: Gregg J. Palmer of Fresno.
On paper, this looks like a cake walk for incumbent Democrat Jim Costa -- steep registration
edge, huge fund-raising lead. Don't be fooled by appearances. Some folks think Republicans
will apply a blow torch to this district come fall.
(Voter Registration: 42% D - 40% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Jack O'Connell of San Luis Obispo. Republican: Gordon Klemm of Arroyo
Grande. Libertarian: Jack Ray of Goleta.
In a perfect world, Republicans would make a run at incumbent Democrat Jack O'Connell.
But this coastal slice of territory is ideal for the incumbent, who has raised precinct
walking to an art form ever since his first election to the Assembly way back in
1982. Republican Gordon Klemm, a PG&E engineer, ran unsuccessfully in the 1992
Republican primary for the 22nd Congressional District and has reported less than
$1,000. Republicans may seed his campaign with some cash come the fall, if only to
try to pin O'Connell's money in the district.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 57% D - 26% R) -- Democrats:
Richard Alarcon of Sun Valley, Richard Katz of Sylmar. Republican: Ollie McCaulley
of Sun Valley. Libertarian: Linda Starr of Valley Village.
The Democratic race to replace termed-out Senator Herschel Rosenthal is, by most
accounts, the most competitive Senate primary in the state this year -- a leadership
showdown played out in the precincts of the San Fernando Valley. In one corner, is
former Assembly Democratic leader Richard Katz, whose 12-year legislative career
was interrupted in 1996 by term limits. Katz is the preferred candidate of current
Senate President pro Tempore John Burton. In the other corner, Los Angeles City Councilman
Richard Alarcon, the first Latino from the San Fernando Valley to win election to
the council. Alarcon is the candidate of Senator Richard Polanco, defeated in the
pro tem fight this year but apparently hankering for a rematch. The two candidates
have represented similar portions of the district, and their positions on most major
issues affecting the state are virtually identical. But the contrasts between the
two are less about policy than about personality and background. Although he has
run for municipal offices -- most notably an unsuccessful run for mayor -- Katz is
essentially a product of the Legislature. His Senate campaign was seeded by more
than $130,000 transferred from his Assembly campaign accounts. Alarcon's base, meanwhile,
centers in the wheeling and dealing of L.A. city politics. His endorsement list includes
L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, much of organized labor, and the LAPD Police Protection
League. Alarcon also seeks to capitalize on the demographic trends in the northern
and eastern portions of the Valley. These trends not only led to his election to
the council, but also to the election of the Valley's first Latino legislator, Tony
Cardenas, who incidentally is backing Alarcon. Katz' Assembly transfer gave him the
early edge in fund raising and he looked poised to swamp Alarcon in the money race.
But a huge February fund raiser sponsored by Riordan boosted Alarcon's first-quarter
fund raising ahead of Katz', though Katz still had the edge in cash on hand. Katz
was also the first to hit the streets with a mailer and sought to take the offensive
by proposing a "clean campaigning" pledge, a challenge dismissed by Alarcon
as a stunt. While both men have vowed to avoid personal attacks, each has hired political
consultants known for a willingness to hit hard for Katz, it's L.A.-based Harvey
Englander, while for Alarcon it's Sacramento-based Richie Ross. All signs point to
a campaign that is nasty, brutish and expensive, but in the end, the result may turn
more on where the votes are. Katz is expected to have a significant edge among voters
in the southern and western portions of the district -- that makes up the 40th Assembly
District -- with their heavier concentrations of white, liberal, somewhat more affluent
voters. Alarcon's base is in the more blue-collar area encompassing the 39th District,
with its higher concentrations of Latino voters. Alarcon figures to benefit from
a voter registration drive which hopes to register Latinos in the Valley. But Katz'
sixteen years representing the 39th will allow him to compete for those votes as
well, particularly with Cardenas in his corner. If he's able to at least stay even
in his old stomping grounds, Katz' strength in the more affluent part of the district
should carry him over the top. But if Alarcon is able to build momentum, there will
be little margin for error in Katz' electoral calculus.
(Voter Registration: 64% D - 18% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Richard Polanco. Peace and Freedom: Muffy Sunde. Both of Los Angeles.
Without even a Republican to challenge him, Polanco is spending most of his primary
attention on empire building, most notably in the above-mentioned 20th district.
(Voter Registration: 58% D - 25% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Hilda Solis of El Monte. Republican: Carl Taylor of La Puente. Libertarian:
Kim Goldsworthy of Rosemead.
Solis goes solo in the primary, and should solidify her seat in November.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 76% D - 10% R) -- Democrats:
Marguerite Archie-Hudson and Addie Miller of Los Angeles; Kevin Murray of Culver
City. Republican: MacLane Key of Los Angeles. Libertarian: Bob Weber
of Culver City.
The contest to replace termed-out Senator Diane Watson features two familiar names
-- one looking to move up and the other looking to move back to Sacramento. Moving
up would be termed-out Assemblyman Kevin Murray, whose Assembly district comprises
roughly two-thirds of the voting population in the Senate district. Looking to move
back is Marguerite Archie-Hudson, who was claimed by term limits two years ago. Archie-Hudson
currently holds the unique distinction of serving on both L.A. charter reform commissions
-- one organized by the city council and another put together by Mayor Richard Riordan.
Her service on that board didn't cut it with the mayor, though. Riordan is backing
Murray, as are most of the usual suspects -- Representative Maxine Waters, Assemblyman
Rod Wright, Archie-Hudson's legislative successor, and Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa.
Although she was active in education issues during her time in Sacramento, Archie-Hudson
could do no better than a split endorsement from the United Teachers of Los Angeles.
But she does have one big prize -- the backing of Watson, the outgoing incumbent.
That support has helped her stay within striking distance in fund raising, though
Murray still leads that department by a substantial margin. Murray has also secured
spots on most of the district's slate mailers, including an influential slate put
out by his father, former Assemblyman Willard Murray. Those slates, and Murray's
natural edge in his voter-rich Assembly enclave could spell the difference, unless
Archie-Hudson hits some kind of fund-raising lottery.
(Voter Registration: 51% D - 32% R) -- Democrats:
Debra Bowen of Marina del Rey, James Isaac of Redondo Beach. Republican: Asha
Knott of Lake Forest.
As the Democratic assemblywoman of an independently-minded swing district (AD 53),
Bowen seemed always to be wearing a target. But when term limits felled ageless veteran
Senator Ralph Dills, Bowen had a chance to move into a district with a little more
Democratic head room. She is expected to have no trouble in the primary. For awhile,
it appeared the GOP would have a contested primary. Manhattan Beach Councilman Steve
Napolitano -- a moderate Republican -- was recruited by then-Senate Republican Leader
Rob Hurtt to take on Bowen. But while he had leadership behind him, he didn't have
enough GOP petition signatures, falling three short of the 40 needed to file his
campaign papers.Thus the field was left to businesswoman Asha Knott, whose only chance
at beating Bowen would come in the event of a massive Republican landslide.
(Voter Registration: 65% D - 21% R) -- Democrat:
Martha Escutia of Commerce. Republican: John Robertson of South Gate. Libertarian:
John McCready of Whittier.
Early on, the Democratic primary to replace termed-out Senator Charles Calderon was
shaping up as a humdinger. The two nested Democratic assembly members -- Martha Escutia
and Grace Napolitano -- both pulled papers and set about gathering support. But Escutia
got a lucky break when CBS News did a national story on her legislation aimed at
curbing job discrimination based on age. That piece, along with some nifty flanking
maneuvers on endorsements, gave Escutia a leg up. When fate again intevened, in the
form of the retirement of Representative Esteban Torres, Napolitano decided to shift
gears and run for Congress. End result: Escutia runs unopposed and cruises into the
Senate in the fall.
|STATE SENATE DISTRICT
(Voter Registration: 50% D - 35% R) -- Democrats:
Paul Avila of Ontario, Joe Baca of Rialto. Republican: Eunice Ulloa of Chino.
Libertarian: John Ballard of San Bernardino.
With longtime incumbent Democrat Ruben Ayala termed out, Assemblyman Joe Baca is
attempting to move into the upper house. Early polls show him with a commanding lead
over his primary opponent, Ontario-Montclair School Board Member Paul Avila. Avila
is no newcomer, having run a credible if losing effort in 1996 against Assemblyman
Fred Aguiar in the 61st District. But the real contest here will come in November
when Baca takes on Chino Mayor Eunice Ulloa. Although registration favors Democrats,
Republican candidates have done well here in the 1990s. Even Michael Huffington carried
the district against Dianne Feinstein in the 1994 Senate contest. Senate Republicans
have put this district at the top of their 1998 target list, which automatically
puts it at the top of the Democrats' list as well. The fire next time.
(Voter Registration: 44% D - 40% R) -- Democrat:
Joseph Dunn of Laguna Niguel. Republican: Incumbent Rob Hurtt of Garden Grove.
At first glance this is a no-brainer for June, and possibly November. After all,
the incumbent is millionaire Rob Hurtt, co-founder of the Allied Business PAC and
former Senate Republican leader. Hurtt resigned his leadership post two months ago
to spend more time on family and business affairs and on getting re-elected. And
though his district isn't as GOP-comfy as some Orange County seats, Hurtt has had
no trouble winning before by large margins in November. But a large chunk of this
seat is nested in the 46th Congressional District, where a major battle is brewing
between Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez and Republicans. That battle royal could
stir up the Latino vote, which wasn't a factor in Hurtt's 1994 re-election. With
44 percent of the district Latino, Senate Democrats may consider taking a shot at
Hurtt once the June primary is over. But only if consumer attorney Joseph Dunn can
show them something to invest in.
(Voter Registration: 36% D - 49% R) -- Democrat:
George Swift. Republican: Incumbent Ray Haynes. Both of Riverside.
Not much of a challenge for incumbent Ray Haynes.
(Voter Registration: 30% D - 51% R) -- Democrat:
Madelene Arakelian of Laguna Hills. Republican: Bill Morrow of Oceanside.
Libertarian: Paul King of Oceanside. Natural Law: Barbara Blair of Encinitas.
Gentlemanly Bill Craven, a moderate Republican, is in the last year of a 25-year
legislative career thanks to term limits. Craven is one of the most liked and respected
members of the Legislature, but he's been mostly absent from Sacramento the past
two years due to ill health. Bill Morrow, who is termed out in the Assembly, is the
Republicans' anointed successor. Morrow, unlike Craven, is a staunch conservative
who doesn't shy away from a good partisan fight. Democrat Madelene Arakelian, who
lost badly to Senator Ross Johnson in 1996, has taken on yet another GOP-dominated
seat where another drubbing awaits.
(Voter Registration: 45% D - 35% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Steve Peace of El Cajon. Republican: Bob Divine of La Mesa. Libertarian:
David Graham of San Diego.
No one knows San Diego politics quite as well as incumbent Steve Peace, seeking his
final term in the Senate. Republicans made noise early on about challenging Peace,
but that noise likely won't get very loud.