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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: 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.



(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.



(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 control.



(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.



(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.



(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.



(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.



(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.

This page first published May 25, 1998

Last updated May 25, 1998

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