Republican Gloria J. Stout, a Pacific Palisades businesswoman, formally announced her candidacy for the 44th District Assembly seat this week.
Stout will face Bill Mundell, a 25-year-old economist who entered the race last week, in the June GOP primary. Both hope to challenge two-term Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) in November.
Stout said she is "philosophically opposed" to Hayden. She charged that he has misled voters and engaged in unfair personal attacks on opponents.
Stout added that she would avoid political "gamesmanship" if elected and devote herself to solving problems.
"Our state Legislature is a mess," she said. "Most members don't even know the content, much less the long-term effect, of the bills they vote on."
Stout said she also hoped to find solutions to Westside traffic problems. "A disproportionate share of the state highway funds is spent on the upkeep of rural roads that are used by few people," Stout said. "I will work to make sure that heavily populated areas like the 44th District receive a fair share of tax money to develop a truly rapid transit system and to upgrade our congested highways and surface streets."
Stout has been active in Republican politics for several years. The 41-year-old owner of Palisades Camera won about 16% of the vote in an unsuccessful race against Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude in 1981.
She was a member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee and briefly considered running against Hayden in 1984. Stout said she has never met Mundell, but called him a "fine young man."
Stout said she is anxious to learn more about Mundell's political views at Republican campaign forums.
"I don't know how he feels about anything," Stout said. "But the candidates usually end up speaking at the same events. So I think the voters will be able to hear us and hear us well."
On Wednesday, Mundell campaign manager Stephen R. Frank said he expects a friendly primary and that the entry of two candidates shows that the 44th District seat "is worth fighting for." Frank said he was not sure whether fund-raising would be a problem with two GOP candidates in the campaign.
But Stout said she does not expect to spend much money anyway.
"It'll be a people-oriented race and a grass-roots campaign," Stout said. "We'll be phoning people and telling them I'm running. Then we'll have some small fund-raisers and maybe one large event."
Statewide Republican Party officials have not endorsed anyone yet. Earlier this month, leaders of two GOP political action committees said Hayden, a proven fund-raiser, will be tough to beat because nearly 70% of the voters in the 44th District are Democrats.