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Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE LOCAL CONTESTS : STATE SENATE / 39TH DISTRICT

October 25, 1992|MARK PLATTE MARK PLATTE..BD: TIMES STAFF WRITER

In television ads, state Sen. Lucy Killea paddles a rowboat and scoffs at those in Sacramento who thought she'd be "cast adrift" when she switched political parties last year. She shivers in a parka surrounded by blocks of ice and explains she has not been "frozen out."

Her campaign commercials seek to counter the chief critical refrain about Killea: that she abandoned the Democratic Party and became an independent so as not to be hurt by a slight Republican voter registration edge in the 39th Senate District.

Although the switch cost Killea money--she's raised $241,200, none of it from the Democratic Party--she is hoping that her pro-choice views and decade in the state Legislature--will help her fend off former state Sen. Jim Ellis, who held the Senate seat from 1980 to 1988.

To Ellis, who has raised $207,044, including loaning his campaign $35,000, the choice between he and Killea is clear.

"It's like night and day," he says. "She's night and I'm day."

The former state senator, who quit legislative life after complaining of exhaustion, got back into politics, he says, because of what he viewed as Killea's anti-business position.

Comparing state Chamber of Commerce "report cards" for five of his years in the Senate to the same five years she spent in the Assembly, Ellis says he got a 90% favorable rating and she received a 30% rating.

"She's anti-jobs and anti-growth," Ellis said. "Our primary problem is the economy and jobs. We have to help our economic base and tax base."

Killea counters that she's done plenty for business and has received contributions from the state Manufacturers Assn. Political Action Committee. She also supported a bill that helps reduce paperwork for small businesses who must report how they dispose of hazardous waste.

The difference between Killea and Ellis, she says, comes down to one key area: she supports the right of a woman to choose abortion and he does not, except in cases of incest, rape or danger to the mother's help.

"Choice will have an impact," Killea said. "Republican women are angry and many simply have not been able to support the anti-choice position."

In 1989, Killea was able to use the issue of choice to her advantage when the late Catholic Bishop Leo Maher prohibited her from receiving Communion because of her pro-choice views.

The national uproar that ensued propelled Killea over Republican Assemblywoman Carol Bentley for the seat held by Republican Larry Stirling, who was appointed to a municipal judgeship.

Lucy Killea

Age: 70

Birthplace: San Antonio, Tex.

Occupation: State senator

Independent Jim Ellis

Age: 63

Birthplace: Tulsa, Okla.

Occupation: Businessman

Republican John P. Moody

Age: 63

Birthplace: San Diego

Occupation: Attorney

Libertarian Patricia Cofre

Age: 37

Birthplace: Santiago, Chile

Occupation: Student

Peace & Freedom

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