SACRAMENTO — More than one-fifth of the state legislators up for reelection this fall apparently have decided to seek other offices or retire, paving the way for a significant shake-up in California's Legislature.
Acting to meet Tuesday's deadline for filing notices of intention to run for reelection, 19 members of the 80-member Assembly indicated that they did not plan to seek reelection to their current offices. Four of the 20 members of the state Senate up for election this year have other plans.
Both reapportionment and Proposition 140, which imposes legislative term limits, had an impact on the forthcoming reshuffling of the Assembly and Senate.
The major cause of the exodus probably was the once-a-decade redrawing of legislative district boundaries. After the 1981 reapportionment, there were 24 new faces elected to the Assembly and eight to the Senate in the 1982 elections.
This year the new legislative maps, drawn by the state Supreme Court, are expected to give Republicans more seats in the Legislature, possibly allowing the GOP to capture a majority over the Democrats in the Assembly.
Proposition 140, approved by voters in 1990, limits Assembly members to three two-year terms and the 40 members of the Senate to two four-year terms. The state Senators up for election this year--those with odd-numbered districts--were in the middle of their terms when Proposition 140 was adopted. Under term limits, they are entitled to one more full term if they are reelected this year.
Even though no legislators were forced out of office this year by the term limits, many began considering other career options, particularly moving up to congressional seats, which are not covered by the term limits.
Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica), whose district was radically changed by reapportionment, filed to run against Sen. Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles), setting the stage for a possible multimillion-dollar Democratic primary election fight. But he also filed a declaration for reelection to his Assembly seat, which leaves his options open until March 6, when Hayden must make a choice.
An Hayden aide said a Rosenthal challenge "is a very real possibility." However, he added, "Today is not the day for an announcement."
A primary battle between Hayden and Rosenthal has the potential to be a very expensive, hard-fought clash between the lilberal Hayden and Rosenthal's allies in the West Los Angeles Democratic political organization of Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Howard L. Berman.
Candidates who have declared their intention to run have until March 6 to complete their declaration of candidacy and file their nomination papers. If an incumbent who has declared an intention to run does not do so, other candidates will have an extra five days to jump into the race.
Among those leaving the Assembly and running for Congress this year are Marguerite Archie-Hudson (D-Los Angeles), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks), William Baker (R-Danville), William Filante (R-Greenbrae), Ted Lempert (D-San Mateo) and Phillip Wyman (R-Tehachapi).
Members of the Assembly running for the state Senate include Teresa Hughes (D-Los Angeles), Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley), Carol Bentley (R-El Cajon) and David Kelley (R-Hemet).
Retiring are Assembly members Sally Tanner (D-Baldwin Park), Bev Hansen (R-Santa Rosa), Bill Lancaster (R-Covina), Peter Chacon (D-San Diego) and Chris Chandler (R-Yuba City).
Assemblyman Jerry Eaves (D-Rialto) is running for San Bernardino County supervisor and Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly (D-Sacramento) is running for a judgeship.
In the Senate, Sens. Ed Davis (R-Santa Clarita), Cecil Green (D-Norwalk), Bill Greene (D-Los Angeles) and Rose Ann Vuich (D-Dinuba) have announced their retirements.
Senate Democrats now outnumber Republicans by 24 to 13 with two independents and one vacancy.
President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Los Angeles) is running in an April special election to serve the remainder of the term of former Sen. Alan Robbins (D-Van Nuys), who pleaded guilty to political corruption charges.
The Assembly is made up of 47 Democrats and 33 Republicans.
Times staff writer Daniel M. Weintraub contributed to this story.