Incumbent congressmen scored easy victories, supporters of political extremist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. were soundly defeated and there was only one upset in Tuesday's elections in the San Gabriel Valley.
In otherwise predictable races, John W. Almquist provided the only surprise by defeating Michael Radlovic for the Republican nomination in the 30th Congressional District. He will face Rep. Matthew G. Martinez (D-Monterey Park) in November.
Radlovic, a 26-year-old real estate broker, was expected to win the primary on the strength of endorsements by party leaders, including Assemblyman Richard Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) and the two previous Republican nominees in the district, former Rep. John Rousselot and Richard Gomez.
Radlovic said he spent $11,000 mailing campaign literature and had the help of many volunteers in posting signs and contacting voters.
But Almquist, a 27-year-old law clerk who said he spent only $300 on his campaign, received 8,509 votes against 6,211 for Radlovic.
"I didn't just lose. I got nailed," Radlovic said.
Almquist said he was surprised by his own victory. He said Radlovic "had a very slick mailing. After I looked at it, I thought it was all over for me."
Helped by Mailers
Almquist, who lives outside the district in La Canada Flintridge, walked precincts, reaching by his own estimate more than 1,000 households. In addition, he said, he benefited from--but did not pay for--two slate mailers sent to Republican voters districtwide.
One mailer was financed by supporters of Senate candidate Ed Zschau and opponents of Proposition 51, the state initiative limiting liability for lawsuit damages. The other mailer, put out by a group of conservatives, urged support for Proposition 51 and a number of Republican candidates.
Radlovic said the election results show "the power of slate cards." He said that until the results came in, he thought his own mailing would be more effective with voters than simply putting his name on a list with other Republicans. But, he said, he was told that many voters arrived at the polls with slate cards in their hands.
Radlovic said he will support Almquist in November in his campaign against Martinez, an easy winner over two challengers in the Democratic primary.
Also on the ballot will be Libertarian candidate Kim J. Goldsworthy, a computer programmer from Rosemead.
The 30th district, which stretches from Azusa southwest through Alhambra, El Monte, Rosemead and Montery Park, is difficult for a Republican to win. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.
Easy Win for Martinez
Martinez polled 81% of the vote in the primary to easily defeat Gilbert Barron, a member of the Garvey school board, who received 12% of the vote, and George Trivich, a LaRouche supporter, who got 6%.
Two other LaRouche supporters lost in other congressional primaries in the San Gabriel Valley.
In the 25th Congressional District, which includes part of Pasadena, Rep. Edward Roybal (D-Los Angeles) received nearly 90% of the vote to less than 11% for Dorothy Andromidas.
In the 33rd Congressional District, which includes much of the eastern San Gabriel Valley, LaRouche supporter Paul Jeffrey gained less than 25% of the vote in losing the Democratic primary to Monty Hempel.
Referendum on LaRouche
Hempel, 35, director of the Program in Policies Studies at the Claremont Graduate School, said he urged voters to make the primary a referendum on LaRouche and the results "indicated a firm rejection of the LaRouche philosophy."
Jeffrey, a masonry contractor who lives in La Verne, got nearly one-third of the vote when he ran for the same office in the Democratic primary two years ago.
Jeffrey was unavailable for comment but his wife, Becky, who worked with him in the campaign, said her husband was the victim of "name calling" and the spread of misinformation about the LaRouche movement.
With his primary victory behind him, Hempel said he hopes to focus on such issues as arms control, education and toxic pollution in his campaign against incumbent Rep. David Dreier (R-La Verne), who was renominated without opposition in the Republican primary. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district. Also on the ballot in November will be Peace and Freedom candidate Mike Noonan.
Only two Assembly districts in the area had contested primaries. In the heavily Democratic 55th Assembly District, which includes part of Pasadena, Richard Polonco won both the Democratic primary and a special election to fill the unexpired term of Richard Alatorre, who resigned from the Assembly after winning election to the Los Angeles City Council.
In the 65th Assembly District, which takes in Pomona and a large section of San Bernardino County, Hal Jackson, 55, a California Youth Authority chaplain from Pomona, defeated Bill A. Christopher, a 54-year-old former maintenance supervisor from Hesperia, by a vote of 11,982 to 5,280.
Jackson will face incumbent Charles Bader of Pomona, who was unopposed in the Republican primary, in November.
Jackson attributed his primary victory to his knowledge of the issues and to the fact that he had become well known in the district by running against Bader two years ago.
Jackson said his chances in November "still look slim, but my opponent can be beaten." He said he will focus attention on toxic waste, education and the plight of mobile home owners facing rent increases.