of Public Instruction
Board of Equalization
Districts 2 - 40
(Voter Registration: 44% D - 40% R) -- Democrat:
Barry Gordon of Pasadena. Republican: Incumbent James Rogan of Glendale. Libertarian:
Bob New of La Canada.
With perennial Democratic challenger Doug Kahn having relocated to suburban Philadelphia,
the Democratic field is clear for the candidate the party wanted to see run against
Rogan two years ago. Barry Gordon, a one-time child actor and former president of
the Screen Actors Guild, is considered a worthy challenger to Rogan, whose district
is undergoing a demographic shift that doesn't work in his favor. Democrats believe
this is a race to watch in November, but they'll have to beat not only some bad registration
numbers but a Rogan strengthened by incumbency.
(Voter Registration: 41% D - 43% R) -- Democrat:
Janice Nelson of Sierra Madre. Republicans: Incumbent David Dreier of San
Dimas, Arnold Amaru of Covina. Libertarian: Jerry Douglas of Montrose. Green:
Walt Sheasby of Sierra Madre. Natural Law: Lawrence Allison of Claremont.
Dreier draws token primary opposition, a rather poor way to repay one of the most
influential Californians in the House.
(Voter Registration: 56% D - 25% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Henry Waxman of Los Angeles. Republicans: David Churchman, Mike
Gottlieb of Los Angeles. Libertarian: Mike Binkley of Los Angeles. Natural
Law: Karen Blasdell-Wilkinson of Santa Barbara.
Two-time GOP loser Paul Stepanek, who actually campaigned as a pseudo-Democrat in
1996, has stepped aside, leaving the field open for one of two new Republicans to
get waxed by Waxman.
(Voter Registration: 62% D - 20% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Xavier Becerra. Republicans: Patricia Parker, David Ramirez. All
of Los Angeles.
Parker, who pulled a whopping 18 percent against Becerra in 1996, is back for more
punishment, but at least she's got a primary opponent she can pick on first.
(Voter Registration: 58% D - 25% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Matthew Martinez of Monterey Park. Republican: Frank Moreno of Alhambra.
Libertarian: Michael Everling of Los Angeles. Green: Gary Hearne of
Culver City, Krista Lieberg-Wong of Alhambra.
Once again Martinez avoids primary opposition, the only kind of opponent that will
ever give him trouble in this heavily Democratic area. The eight-term Democrat will
likely spend more time watching the doings of his two daughters -- Diane and Susie
-- who are both looking to move up in their respective careers.
(Voter Registration: 73% D - 13% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Julian Dixon of Los Angeles. Republican: Laurence Ardito of Culver
City. Libertarian: Vleko Milosevich of Los Angeles.
The only thing that would keep Dixon out of Congress would be retirement.
(Voter Registration: 67% D - 16% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Lucille Roybal-Allard of Los Angeles. Republican: Wayne Miller of
Roybal-Allard is as safe as they come.
(Voter Registration: 61% D - 25% R) -- Democrats:
James Casso of West Covina, Grace Napolitano of Norwalk. Republican: Ed Perez
of Santa Fe Springs. American Independent: Walter Scott of La Puente. Libertarian:
Jason Heath of Los Angeles.
Incumbent Representative Esteban Torres seemed, for all the world, like a man with
a lot of political life left in him. Although he'd been passed over for a post in
the Clinton administration, Torres was the senior Latino in the California delegation
and had a hammerlock on his middle-class district. So when Torres announced he was
retiring two days before the close of filing for re-election, everyone was surprised.
Well, just about everyone. The timing of Torres' resignation seemed designed to insure
a clear field for James Casso, his 39-year-old chief of staff, who also happens to
be the congressman's son-in-law. But Torres' resignation also caught the eye of Grace
Napolitano, a termed-out assemblywoman and former Norwalk mayor who had originally
filed to run for state Senate. Since the Senate race -- for the seat being vacated
by Charles Calderon -- would have pitted Napolitano against fellow Assemblywoman
Martha Escutia, Napolitano saw the congressional race as a less painful and more
attractive alternative. The two contenders both bring hefty endorsements and at least
a theoretical capacity to raise money. Napolitano has the backing of many of her
Sacramento colleagues, including Senator Richard Polanco. But Casso has his share
of Sacramento supporters, including Calderon, along with several Latino members of
Congress and the mayor of Napolitano's home city of Norwalk. Casso is also hoping
to capitalize on his boss' ties to the labor movement -- Torres was once a United
Auto Workers steward -- and his early criticisms of Napolitano have centered around
her support of fast-track authority for the president on the North American Free
Trade Agreement. But labor support doesn't necessarily hold the same big stick in
this district it wields in other Democratic strongholds, as many of the district's
voters are middle-class, upwardly mobile Latinos. Napolitano has a history of spending
her own money to win elections, and with an election being held under federal campaign
restrictions, such self-financing is likely to be needed again. But the real test
will be whether Napolitano's more localized support base can be extended throughout
the district against a challenger who is wrapping himself around the legend of his
(Voter Registration: 75% D - 11% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Maxine Waters of Los Angeles. Republican: Earl Smith of Inglewood.
American Independent: Gordon Mego of Hawthorne.
Nobody beats Maxine Waters. Nobody.
(Voter Registration: 42% D - 41% R) -- Democrats:
Janice Hahn of San Pedro, Nilo Michelin of Redondo Beach. Republicans: Susan
Brooks of Rancho Palos Verdes, Robert Klein of Redondo Beach, Steve Kuykendall of
Rancho Palos Verdes, Robert Pegram of Redondo Beach, Rudy Svorinich of San Pedro.
Libertarian: Kerry Welsh of Torrance. Reform: John Konopka of Los Angeles.
For the last six years, Republicans considered this coastal Los Angeles County district
to have been on loan to moderate Democrat Jane Harman. The three-term incumbent seemed
to have finally settled into a winning groove when Dianne Feinstein opted out of
the governor's race, prompting Harman to opt in. With the seat now open, Republicans
are ready to reclaim the seat carved out for them in the 1991 redistricting. The
GOP primary features three credible contenders. The two "conventional"
candidates in the race are Steve Kuykendall, a two-term assemblyman, and Rudy Svorinich,
a Los Angeles city council member. Svorinich has been in the thick of the battle
over expansion of Los Angeles International Airport, perhaps the biggest regional
issue in the district, and has a history of crossover support, having represented
a council district that tilts Democratic. But only a sliver of that council district
falls within the 36th, leaving Svorinich without much of a regional base from which
to run. Kuykendall's Assembly district overlaps more of the congressional territory,
and the avuncular former Rancho Palos Verdes councilman has the backing of many of
his Sacramento colleagues. But Kuykendall hasn't had an easy race yet, having barely
won his 1996 reelection campaign. He is also still trying to wash out a negative
stain, his acceptance of a $125,000 last-minute contribution from tobacco giant Philip
Morris. The best known of the three, at least among those who have voted in previous
elections, is Susan Brooks, the former Rancho Palos Verdes councilwoman who has lost
in two previous attempts to unseat Harman. Brooks has become something of a notorious
figure, as her slash-and-burn campaign tactics in 1994 and 1996 alienated Republicans
and Democrats alike and served to choke off her potential support and fund-raising
base. For the most part, Svorinich and Kuykendall have been focusing on each other
-- Svorinich claims Kuykendall's position on gun control and local taxation make
him too "liberal" for the district, while Kuykendall claims it is Svorinich
who is the liberal. Each is expected to raise more than enough to make their case
in the mailboxes over the last six weeks of the campaign. While Brooks might not
have the same financial resources, she does enjoy some natural advantages which could
help her: She's considered a maverick, a trait which might appeal to the district's
large bloc of independent voters who will be casting primary ballots for the first
time. Moreover, she's a woman running in a district that likes to elect women. But
Svorinich and Kuykendall are head and shoulders above the caliber of primary opponent
Brooks has faced in the past. Translation: she'll need some money to be competitive.
A Brooks primary win would be viewed as the best of all worlds to the presumptive
Democratic nominee. The daughter of the late L.A. Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, Janice
Hahn -- who sits on one of the two L.A. charter revision commissions -- has already
lost one race to Svorinich, having been beaten by him in a city council race. Brooks,
on the other hand, would present an inviting target, and could entice national party
leaders to move the race higher on their electoral food chain.
(Voter Registration: 72% D - 12% R) -- Democrats:
Incumbent Juanita Millender-McDonald of Carson and Amen Rahn of Long Beach. Republican:
Saul Lankster of Compton.
The surprise victor in a hard-fought 1996 special election to fill the seat vacated
by the conviction of former Representative Walter Tucker III, Millender-McDonald
appears secure, drawing only token primary opposition this time out.
(Voter Registration: 51% D - 34% R) -- Democrat:
Peter Matthews of Long Beach. Republicans: Incumbent Steve Horn of Long Beach,
Margherita Underhill of Lakewood. Libertarian: David Bowers of Downey.
Peter Matthews, a perennial challenger to incumbent Steve Horn, lost a surprisingly
nasty primary two years ago to openly gay attorney Rich Zbur, who was subsequently
beaten by Horn. Matthews is unopposed this time and Horn has only token opposition,
setting the stage for a re-match of the 1994 contest between the two, also won handily
(Voter Registration: 38%D - 47%R) -- Democrats:
Charlie Ara of La Mirada and A. "Cecy" Groom of Cerritos. Republican:
Incumbent Ed Royce of Fullerton. Libertarian: Jack Dean of Fullerton. Natural
Law: Ron Jevning of Tustin.
A Catholic priest turned social worker. A school board member whose campaign office
opened only after a friend volunteered the office space. That's what Ed Royce has
drawn for Democratic challengers. Needless to say, Royce won't be up late counting
the Democratic returns.
(Voter Registration: 37% D - 47% R) -- Democrat:
Robert Conway of Phelan. Republicans: Incumbent Jerry Lewis of Redlands, George
Craig of Apple Valley. Libertarian: Maurice Mayben of Helendale.
Jerry Lewis' re-elections are a matter of clockwork.
(Voter Registration: 39% D - 45% R) -- Democrat:
Eileen Ansari of Diamond Bar. Republicans: Incumbent Jay Kim of Diamond Bar,
Jack Healy of Diamond Bar, Bob Kerns of Chino, Gary Miller of Diamond Bar, Pete Pierce
of Yorba Linda. Green: Cynthia Allaire of Pomona. Libertarian: Kenneth
Valentine of Alta Loma. Natural Law: David Kramer of Chino Hills.
Most politicians with any kind of track record also have political baggage -- a bad
vote here, an embarrassing campaign contribution there, a debate gaffe or two. But
"house arrest" has to be one of the more unusual in California history,
sort of the steamer trunk of political baggage. And so it is that incumbent Republican
Jay Kim finds himself confined to his Washington, D.C., home through most of the
1998 primary season, the result of a conviction for accepting and concealing illegal
campaign contributions in connection with his first race for Congress back in 1992.
He was sentenced March 11 for two months of house confinement -- not in the district
but in the east. The allegations that eventually felled Kim have been circulating
for several years and always have provided campaign fodder for past primary opponents.
But the Kim camp has repeatedly blown the allegations off with denials that no longer
resonate in the face of his sentencing. That has opened the door wide for a crowded
GOP field that includes businessman Bob Kerns, who twice lost to Kim in primaries.
In 1996, Kerns grabbed 42 percent of the vote but is overshadowed in 1998 by the
presence of two stronger Republican challengers -- Deputy District Attorney Pete
Pierce and Assemblyman Gary Miller. Miller would seem the front runner, although
his re-election to the Assembly in 1996 was less than impressive. He gained but 52
percent of the vote against an underfunded Democrat in a district that traditionally
has been solid Republican. A former Diamond Bar councilman, Miller lost a bitter
GOP primary for state Senate against Richard Mountjoy in 1994 but later earned high
marks in Sacramento as chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee in 1996, when Republicans
briefly controlled the lower house. He seeded his campaign with $500,000. He's gained
a long list of endorsements, including that of Attorney General Dan Lungren, who
urged Kim to resign, Senator Jim Brulte and Treasurer Matt Fong. Pierce, an Orange
County prosecutor, bills himself as a Christian conservative. He is the only major
candidate from Orange County, which makes up 20 percent of the district. Kim, meanwhile,
has had trouble raising money and reportedly has less than $80,000 on hand -- not
much for what is shaping up as a bicoastal campaign effort.
(Voter Registration: 50% D - 36% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent George Brown Jr. of Colton. Republicans: Rob Guzman of Fontana,
Bernard McClay of Rancho Cucamonga, Elia Pirozzi of Alta Loma. American Independent:
Hale McGee of Claremont. Libertarian: David Hollist of Alta Loma.
When George Brown first went to Congress, John Kennedy was president, Mickey Mantle,
Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were still in their baseball prime and nobody ever heard
of a Liverpool rock group called the Beatles. The year was 1962 and, with the exception
of 1970, Brown has been re-elected every year since. In the decade of the 1990s,
as Democratic registration in this corner of San Bernardino County slipped away,
Republicans have regularly put Brown at the top of their hit list. And like clockwork,
he's beaten back every challenge. He even survived 1994 -- the year Republicans swept
Democrats out of power in both Washington and Sacramento. His margin of victory over
Republican Rob Guzman -- 2000-plus votes. That margin shrank to less than 1000 votes
in 1996 when Brown turned back an attractive local judge named Linda Wilde. Some
observers thought Wilde would be back for another try in 1998, but she opted not
to run. No such reticence on the part of Guzman, who is back for his third try. After
narrowly losing to Brown in 1994, he finished a distant fourth to Wilde in 1996.
A businessman and a Latino, he faces his toughest opponent in Elia Pirozzi, whose
campaign is being handled by McNally-Temple of Sacramento. A conservative, he's pulled
in endorsements from the likes of Senator Ray Haynes, former football star Christian
Okoye, soccer star Cobi Jones and an endless list of local business luminaries.
(Voter Registration: 39% D - 46% R) -- Democrat:
Mike Rayburn of Riverside. Republicans: Incumbent Ken Calvert of Corona, Cook
Barela of Riverside, Joe Khoury of Riverside. Green: Phill Courtney of Riverside.
Natural Law: Annie Wallack of Riverside.
Just when incumbent Republican Ken Calvert thought he'd seen the last of Joe Khoury,
here comes the UC finance professor once again to gum up Calvert's summer vacation.
In 1992, Calvert and Khoury finished 1-2 in a field of seven candidates in a hard-fought
GOP primary for what was then a new, open seat. Two years later, the pair squared
off by themselves, with by-then incumbent Calvert barely squeeking through with a
1000-vote victory out of 40,000 cast in the GOP primary. Khoury, a conservative,
bashed Calvert over the incumbent having been caught with a self-described prostitute
by Corona police. That campaign was expensive and nasty. But Khoury did not surface
in 1996 as Calvert breezed to his third term. Now, he's back and always has had plenty
of money to toss around a campaign. Not only that, but a third Republican -- retired
police chaplain Cook Barela has joined the fray. Barela last surfaced in 1992 when
he finished second in a four-man race to eventual winner Ted Weggeland in an area
Assembly primary. Barela joins Khoury on the right of Calvert, which is not good
news for Khoury because it should split the conservative vote. The pair may hold
Calvert to under 50 percent of the GOP primary vote -- even in a blanket primary
-- but neither likely will unseat him. The old personal issues used against Calvert
with some success back in 1994 have mostly faded from view.
(Voter Registration: 42% D - 44% R) -- Democrats:
Anna Nevenich of Palm Springs, Ralph Waite of Palm Desert. Republicans: Mary
Bono of Palm Springs, Tom Harney of Palm Desert, Bud Mathewson of Banning, John Overman
of Temecula, Daniel Sprott of Hemet. Natural Law: Jim Meuer of Palm Springs.
This field has fought one battle already this spring with the special election in
April to replace the late Sonny Bono, who was killed in a skiing accident over the
winter. Mary Bono, widow of Sonny, cruised to victory in that contest with 65 percent
of the vote, avoiding a runoff and likely making this primary an academic exercise.
Actor Ralph Waite, he of "The Waltons" fame, was the top Democratic vote-getter
in the special, but he weighed in with only 28 percent. The two are likely to win
their respective primaries and square off again in November. This is Bono's maiden
voyage on the political sea; Waite has run before, losing to former GOP incumbent
Al McCandless by a narrow margin in the old 37th District in 1990.
(Voter Registration: 32% D - 51% R) -- Democrats:
Lud Gerber and Patricia Neal of Huntington Beach. Republicans: Incumbent Dana
Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, Charmayne Bohman of Seal Beach and Long Pham of
Newport Beach. Libertarian: Don Hull of Costa Mesa. Natural Law: William
"Bill" Verkamp, Jr. of Fullerton.
For the first time in six years the bombastic incumbent has drawn a primary challenge.
Dana Rohrabacher has been especially vocal over a local district attorney's prosecution
of campaign aide/wife Rhonda Carmony for her role in the 1995 recall scandal of Assemblywoman
Doris Allen (see CJ, January 1996). That's why former Westminster City Councilwoman
Charmayne Bohman has entered the race. Her consultant is Eileen Padberg, a moderate
Republican who's clashed before with the local GOP power structure. Bohman thinks
Rohrabacher's support in the district is slipping, but it will take Democratic support
in the June open primary, Padberg admits, to knock off the incumbent. That's unlikely,
given the presence of two Democrats in the race, realtor Patricia Neal and 87-year-old
retired attorney Lud Gerber. Of the two, Neal is the better organized and funded,
enjoying the support of the California Association of Realtors, which she served
as president in 1994.
(Voter Registration: 45% D - 39% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana. Republicans: Robert Dornan and Cornelius
"Chuck" Coronado of Garden Grove, James "Jim" Gray of Santa Ana
and Lisa Hughes of Orange. Libertarian: Thomas Reimer of Anaheim. Natural
Law: Larry Engwall of Santa Ana.
Nowhere was the emergence of the Latino vote in 1996 more significant -- and painfully
scrutinized -- than here. Loretta Sanchez knocked off one of the GOP's most polarizing
figures, Bob Dornan, by only 984 votes. Initially, the Sanchez victory was as sweet
as any for Democrats. Dornan -- whose high-flying love of military programs was eclipsed
only by his controversial remarks on homosexuality and abortion -- was sent packing,
while Sanchez became an overnight celebrity. But no sooner did Sanchez claim victory
did Dornan begin his cry of "voter fraud" and claim the election was stolen
from him. His repeated charges that illegal immigrants of Hispanic origin had participated
in the election resulted in numerous investigations, by local and state election
officials, the Orange County district attorney and a House subcommittee. Records
and officials of a Hispanic voter outreach group -- Hermandad Mexicana Nacional --
were subpoenaed, and federal immigration records for the county were combed to see
if Dornan's charges could be substantiated. The investigations, though, failed to
produce sufficient evidence to have the election thrown out. Meanwhile, some Republican
leaders began ringing their hands over the high profile scandal and wished for the
whole thing -- including Dornan -- to just disappear. But the firebrand ex-congressman
is still around and running for his old seat, despite being approached in February
by leaders of the influential Lincoln Club to stay out of the race. Originally, there
were four Republicans plus Dornan jostling for the nomination, until conservative
Anaheim City Councilman Bob Zemel dropped out. Zemel's bid created some early media
attention last year when he hired ex-Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed as his
consultant. But a sudden recall threat aimed at Zemel -- for his support of a special
prosecutor to investigate local city officials -- prompted him to get out and endorse
Dornan. But not all of Zemel's supporters jumped behind Dornan -- in fact many went
to attorney Lisa Hughes, who chairs the State Lottery Commission. As a pro-choice
woman, Hughes is seen by some as the best candidate to beat Sanchez in November.
To get the nomination, though, Hughes has to vie with Superior Court Judge Jim Gray
and former Cypress City Councilman Chuck Coronado for the "anyone-but-Dornan"
vote among Republicans. Coronado is the GOP outsider trying to woo Latinos back into
the party, while Gray -- once viewed as the great moderate hope in the campaign --
has had trouble raising money; his consultant, Sal Russo, is no longer on board.
But those two could still be enough to siphon votes away from Hughes and allow Dornan
to capture the nomination. Sanchez, meanwhile, can cruise through the primary and
build her campaign treasury. So far, she's raised more money than any of her potential
GOP opponents thanks to the assistance of Vice President Al Gore at fund raisers.
If Dornan gets the GOP nod, even more Democratic money is likely to flow into the
district to help Sanchez, which could apply even more heat to legislative races in
the area (SD 34, AD 69). A Dornan campaign is likely also to galvanize the substantial
Latino population (50 percent of district) into voting in even larger numbers than
(Voter Registration: 29%D - 55%R) -- Democrat:
Christina Avalos of Orange. Republican: Incumbent Christopher Cox of Newport
Beach. Libertarian: Victor Wagner, Jr. of Mission Viejo. Natural Law:
Paul Fisher of Costa Mesa. Reform: Raymond Mills of Tustin.
The only tough electoral concern Christopher Cox has faced recently was whether to
abandon his comfortable GOP seat and challenge Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate.
Given his chiseled good looks, sharp mind and immaculate party credentials, he might
just have been the formidable candidate Republicans had hoped to throw at the vulnerable
Boxer. But Cox decided to stay put.
(Voter Registration: 26% D - 55% R) -- Republicans:
Incumbent Ron Packard of Oceanside, James Luke of Temecula, Ed Mayerhofer of Lakewood.
Libertarian: Daniel Muhe of Carlsbad. Natural Law: Sharon Miles of
Incumbent Ron Packard, who has served eight terms in Congress, periodically draws
primary opposition. Businessman Ed Mayerhofer took a turn around this same block
in 1994, getting a whopping 19 percent of the vote. He and businessman James Luke
may share that 19 percent this time. A Democrat made noise about filing in this district,
then stopped making noise.
(Voter Registration: 40% D - 39% R) -- Democrat:
Christine Kehoe of San Diego. Republican: Incumbent Brian Bilbray of Imperial
Beach. Libertarian: Ernest Lippe of San Diego. Natural Law: Julia Simon
of San Diego. Peace and Freedom: Janice Jordan of San Diego.
This portion of San Diego will be quiet in June. Not so in November when San Diego
City Councilwoman Christine Kehoe makes a well-funded run at two-term incumbent Brian
(Voter Registration: 49% D - 29% R) -- Democrat:
Incumbent Bob Filner of San Diego.
If incumbent Bob Filner emerges from this bruising fight unscathed it will be a political
(Voter Registration: 30% D - 50% R) -- Democrat:
Dan Kripke of La Jolla. Republican: Incumbent Randy Cunningham of Del Mar.
Libertarian: Jack Anderson of San Diego. Natural Law: Eric Bourdette
of Solana Beach.
Let's see. A popular, four-term incumbent running in a district where he enjoys a
20-point registration edge. Way out on the edge here, predicting a fifth term for
(Voter Registration: 38% D - 44% R) -- Republican:
Incumbent Duncan Hunter of Alpine. Libertarian: Lyn Badler of El Cajon. Natural
Law: Adrienne Pelton of Del Mar.
Nine-term incumbent Duncan Hunter survived a few marginally tough races earlier in
this decade. This year, he can relax.