Like Treasurer Jesse M. Unruh, Democratic incumbent March Fong Eu is seeking a fourth term. But unlike Unruh, Eu will face Republican opposition in the fall, from one of three men vying for her job.
Best known among the trio is 48-year-old Orange County Supervisor Bruce Nestande, who dove into the secretary of state's race after aborting a bid for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor. A three-term assemblyman before he sought the supervisor's post, Nestande has emphasized his ties to Gov. George Deukmejian and President Reagan, for whom Nestande worked during Reagan's gubernatorial years.
Also competing for the Republican nod, but waging less visible campaigns, are retired Air Force Maj. Ralph E. Winkler and marketing analyst Michael Cyrus. Conservative Winkler has tried to paint Nestande as a liberal. But Nestande succeeded in wresting the endorsement of the California Republican Assembly, the state's largest conservative volunteer organization--from his two rivals.
Eu, who won reelection in 1982 by the largest margin of any statewide officer, has made few waves in her own campaign, but drew notice when she became the only Democratic officeholder to ask Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird to abandon her reconfirmation campaign. Eu said then that Bird's presence was "eroding respect for the court."