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2 Incumbents Take Different Routes in Easy Races : Despite Strong Position, Moore Wary of GOP Bid : ASSEMBLY: Easy Race Seen for Moore

October 23, 1986|JOHN L. MITCHELL | Times Staff Writer

Assemblywoman Gwen Moore is not expected to face a serious challenge in her bid for reelection in the heavily Democratic 49th District on Nov. 4.

Moore, 42, who is seeking her fifth term in the Legislature, is opposed by Republican candidate Eric Givens, a 28-year-old private contractor, and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Susan Gong, a 36-year-old clinical psychologist.

Gong and Givens did not respond to numerous requests by The Times for interviews.

Neither Gong nor Givens is considered a serious threat to Moore. Givens, however, is one of a growing number of black Republicans trying to gain a foothold in the district through voter registration and fund-raising.

Jackie Haynes, executive director of the Los Angeles County Republican Party, said Givens is one of several GOP candidates recruited to run in Democratic districts to force incumbents to spend their resources on their own reelection.

Haynes said the plan is to keep Moore from helping other candidates, such as Mayor Tom Bradley in his race against Gov. George Deukmejian.

For that reason, Moore, although confident of victory, said she is taking her challengers seriously.

"I'm not sure what they are doing, but we are taking very seriously the efforts of the black Republicans," she said. "They are raising money, they have been registering voters. I don't think they are making any major inroads, but I cannot dismiss them."

Givens "is someone who wants my job," Moore said. "I don't want to be caught off guard. They (the Republicans) are very interested in getting their first black elected, getting a foothold in the black community."

The 49th Assembly District includes Culver City, Marina del Rey, Westchester, Los Angeles International Airport, Playa del Rey, Baldwin Hills, Ladera Heights and parts of Mar Vista and Venice.

Moore's district is centered in the predominantly black, middle-class communities around Crenshaw Boulevard and in Baldwin Hills, but elsewhere it includes a diverse mixture of ethnic, economic and age groups.

The lopsided Democratic registration is one of the reasons why Moore has not faced a serious challenge since 1978 when she defeated a field of nine candidates in the Democratic primary to replace Julian Dixon, who was elected to Congress in the 28th District.

Republican registration has increased by nearly 2,000 voters from 28,367 in February to 30,361 in October, according to Haynes.

Democratic registration totals 115,493. There are also 725 Peace and Freedom Party members, 1,188 independents and 501 Libertarians.

Spreading the Wealth

Moore, who had raised $71,967 in campaign contributions through Sept. 30, said she intends to spend $50,000 on her own campaign and share much of the rest with other Democrats.

According to recent campaign statements, Moore has contributed $2,700 to Mary Jadiker of Santa Rosa, who is seeking to unseat Assemblyman Don Sebastiani (R-Sonoma), and $2,750 to DeLaine Eastin, who is running against Republican Leo Mehan for a seat vacated by Assemblyman Alister McAlister (D-Fremont).

Moore said she also intends to contribute money to candidates supported by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.

Moore, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary, said she has been running a campaign that has stressed her success in office. She is the chairwoman of the Assembly's Utility and Commerce Committee and a member of the Finance and Insurance and the Public Safety committees.

Cites Accomplishments

She said she has worked to keep the cost of public utilities down and has authored legislation to force insurance companies to notify customers at least 30 days before they intend to raise premiums.

During Givens' successful June primary campaign against Allan Feldman, he said he intended to press the same issues that Republicans have raised on the national level.

Givens has worked to recruit blacks to the Republican Party and was appointed by Deukmejian to the board of directors of the Afro-America Museum of History and Culture in Los Angeles.

Givens reported a total of $4,295 in contributions through Sept. 30.

"Basically, the issue is free enterprise," Givens said in a May interview. "We want to keep down wasteful government spending and we don't want to over-regulate business. We want to maintain a good economic atmosphere where business can survive."

Gong, 36, has said her Peace and Freedom party's platform promotes full employment, bilingual education and nationalized health care. Gong has filed a form indicating that she would not spend more than $500.

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