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ELECTIONS STATE ASSEMBLY : GOP's Reed to Run in 41st District : * Politics: The former Santa Monica councilwoman is the best know Republican so far to jump into the race.


Former Santa Monica City Councilwoman Christine E. Reed announced this week that she will seek the Republican nomination in a reconfigured Assembly district that includes Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu and the western San Fernando Valley.

Reed, 47, failed to win reelection in 1990, placing fourth in a field of nine candidates after she was targeted for defeat by Santa Monica's powerful tenants rights group.

She is the best-known Republican so far to jump into the race for the 41st Assembly District, which may prove to be the Westside's hottest contest this year.

Two Democratic assemblymen--Terry B. Friedman of Los Angeles and Tom Hayden of Santa Monica--are also contemplating running in the district, which was created by the state Supreme Court during the once-a-decade realignment of California legislative and congressional districts.

Two lesser known Republicans have already declared their candidacies in the June 2 GOP primary election. They are Cal State Fullerton accounting professor Paul Foote of Agoura Hills and Santa Monica attorney Scott A. Meehan.

Former Santa Monica City College board member Fred Beteta, another Republican, has also expressed interest in the race.

Voter registration in the Assembly district is 49% Democrat and 40% Republican. But because Republicans are generally more likely to vote and tend to be more loyal to their party's nominees, the seat is considered a tossup between the parties. The district's population is divided roughly evenly between its valley and Westside portions.

Republican political consultant Paul Clarke of Northridge, who has managed several campaigns in the valley, said Reed is likely to capture the GOP nomination given her higher name recognition and experience in political fund raising.

"More people know her. That's how campaigns start out," Clarke said, adding that Reed will presumably be able to raise the most money to mail brochures, a centerpiece of Assembly campaigns.

Reed, who described herself as a "moderate to conservative" Republican, served on the Santa Monica City Council from 1975 to 1990 and for the last nine years was the only Republican on it. She also was mayor from 1984 to 1986.

In addition, Reed has served on numerous local and regional government boards and is a member of the Metropolitan Water District's board of directors.

A longtime environmental activist, Reed is a member of Heal the Bay and worked in 1972 to defeat a proposal to build an artificial island featuring a hotel and convention center just off the Santa Monica's shoreline.

Reed said environmental protection will be a major theme of her campaign. She also pledged to work with Gov. Pete Wilson to develop a statewide growth management plan.

Reed acknowledged that she must become more familiar with valley issues but said she is already aware of its transportation problems from her former membership on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission. She said she is contacting local Republicans and businessmen to learn about other matters.

She said that she believes Hayden will run for a new state Senate seat on the Westside and that she expects to face Friedman in the November election, although she would be "very happy if he didn't run."

Reed said she has already raised $20,000 for the race and expects to spend at least $50,000 in the primary. Friedman, who now represents part of the new district, has about $120,000 available for the Assembly campaign.

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