of Public Instruction
Board of Equalization
Districts 2 - 40
Democrats: Charles Calderon of Whittier, Bill
Lockyer of Hayward, Lynn Schenk of La Jolla, Michael Schmier of Emeryville. Republicans:
Michael Capizzi of Santa Ana, David Stirling of Sacramento. American Independent:
Diane Templin of Escondido. Libertarian: Joseph Farina of Sacramento. Peace
and Freedom: Robert Evans of Oakland, Gary Kast of North Hollywood.
His opponents say it's much too early to identify
a front-runner, but former Senate President pro Tempore Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward)
is clearly the leader in fund raising and in early polling, although a March Field
Poll shows more than half of voters remain undecided. Lockyer has far and away more
money to spend than any other candidate, having reported $3.3 million "cash
on hand" in March.
The early Field polling found Lockyer was favored by 11 percent of likely voters,
with three candidates -- former Representative Lynn Schenk, Chief Deputy Attorney
General Dave Stirling and Orange County District Attorney Mike Capizzi -- tied with
eight percent. Senator Charles Calderon had 5 percent. Calderon has a mere $1 million
"cash on hand," still far more than the two Republican candidates: Although
Stirling, who is on leave from his position as top deputy to current Attorney General
Dan Lungren, reported raising $450,000, he reported only $77,000 in the bank, the
result, according to campaign manager Mike MeCey, of spending "quite a lot"
on slate mailers and other "grassroots" campaign efforts. Capizzi reported
raising $377,000, with $312,00 cash on hand.
Among likely Democratic voters, Lockyer was favored by 19 percent, Schenk by 13 percent
and Calderon by 8 percent, with 54 percent undecided. Among likely Republican voters,
16 percent favored Stirling and 14 percent Capizzi, with 59 percent undecided. Calderon
called the poll "statistically insignificant," and said the race is "up
Although the Republican contenders -- Stirling and Capizzi -- were announced candidates
early-on, Lockyer and Calderon hedged until the outcome of a legal challenge to term
limits was decided. Lockyer, a former teacher who went to law school at night while
a lawmaker, has spent most of his professional life in the Legislature. Frequently
called the "most powerful Democrat" in California, Lockyer carved out a
formidable reputation as a fund raiser and lawmaker with prodigious negotiating skills
who steered the Legislature through rocky policy waters in his four years as pro
tem. In informal polling of legislative staff, lobbyists, consultants and others
close to the Legislature, the California Journal in March named him "legislator
of the year." Longtime chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lockyer has
a mercurial, occasionally heated temperament and, reportedly, an early penchant for
sometimes unwanted advances on women, one of them a prominent journalist who wrote
about the encounter. The 56-year-old Lockyer, who is divorced, says he's "matured"
over the years, curbed his temper and no longer leads the active single life of a
young assemblyman with the usual appetites. The author of "a good number"
of the state's civil and criminal laws, Lockyer plans to place more emphasis than
his predecessor, Dan Lungren, on enforcement of consumer, environmental, civil rights
and other more "liberal" legal arenas. Like the other candidates in the
race for an office which is responsible for representing the state in all death penalty
appeals, Lockyer is pro-death penalty.
Calderon, 47, may be the lesser known and funded of the two principal Democratic
candidates but he is a formidable fund raiser who can draw on a Southern California
funding and voter base, which includes a substantial Latino population. Calderon
has served in the Legislature since 1982, when he was elected to the Assembly, moving
up to the Senate in 1990. A school board member and deputy city attorney in Los Angeles,
he has also practiced law in the private sector. In the Legislature, he served as
chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, was Senate majority leader and chair of Senate
Judiciary. He became an aggressive champion of "fathers' rights" in child-custody
cases -- a passion apparently borne of his own nasty divorce and custody battle.
He is the first Latino to run for the post.
Schenk, 53, the only woman in the race, is a San Diego attorney who served one term
in Congress and was a member of the cabinet of former Governor Jerry Brown. A deputy
attorney general in the early 1970s, she said she would "aggressively enforce"
consumer protection, elderly fraud, environmental, personal privacy and antittrust
If a recent spate of dueling press releases is any indication, the battle between
Republicans Capizzi and Stirling is likely to be the most heated of the primary campaign.
Capizzi, the persona non grata of the Orange County Republican Party and the state
GOP for his prosecutions of alleged political corruption among GOP candidates and
campaign workers, says he was simply doing his job. A career prosecutor, he has been
endorsed by most district attorneys throughout the state.
Thus far, Stirling has been waging an aggressive, some would say negative, campaign
against Capizzi. On the positive side, Stirling cites his varied background in politics
and government, which includes the Legislature (he served in the Assembly from 1976-82),
and stints as general counsel to the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board and
a Superior Court judge, as well as Lungren's chief deputy. He is endorsed by a wide
range of judicial, legislative, legal and law enforcement officials. While praised
for his administrative skills by Lungren, the gubernatorial hopeful has not made
an official endorsement in the primary.
-- Article by Sigrid Bathen