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Decision '92 : SPECIAL VOTERS' GUIDE TO STATE AND LOCAL ELECTIONS : THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES

October 25, 1992

Much is at stake for both major parties in California's congressional races--if for no other reason because of the sheer size of the state's delegation: 52 seats. Of those, 20 are wholly or in part within Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Only New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and California have House delegations of more than 20 seats. Retirements and reapportionment have made a dramatic impact, bringing forward a host of new candidates in the June primaries and leaving 10 of the 20 districts with no incumbent. Because of lopsided registration figures, most races were all but decided in June. However, at least four of these 20 congressional races are highly competitive, while others have a potential for upsets in a political season marked by volatility. Here are all the House races at stake in the three counties Nov. 3, with major party registration figures as of early September:

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CONGRESS / 24th District

Area: Western San Fernando Valley and eastern Ventura County communities of Agoura, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Oak Park, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Topanga and Westlake Village, and portions of Chatsworth, Northridge, Reseda, West Hills and Woodland Hills.

Registration: 45% D / 42% R

Background: A newly affluent, predominantly white district that has no incumbent. Veteran Democrat Anthony C. Beilenson, running in a new district that includes none of the Westside communities in which he has enjoyed support, faces his toughest race in years. Republican Tom McClintock, one of the Assembly's most conservative lawmakers, is a proven vote-getter. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Anthony C. Beilenson: Congressman REPUBLICAN; Tom McClintock: Assemblyman PEACE AND FREEDOM; John Paul Lindblad: Health environment architect *

CONGRESS / 25th District

Area: Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Castaic, Gorman, Lancaster, Leona Valley, Littlerock, Llano, Palmdale, Pearblossom, Quartz Hill, Santa Clarita and Saugus, and parts of Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge and Sunland.

Registration: 38% D / 50% R

Background: A new, primarily white, overwhelmingly Republican district that has no incumbent. Howard P.(Buck) McKeon, a former Santa Clarita mayor, conservative banker and clothing retailer, is regarded as the front-runner in the six-way race. His chief opponents are Rick Pamplin, a Ross Perot loyalist, and Democrat James H. (Gil) Gilmartin. This will mark the first time the fast-growing Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, which formerly were divided among four districts, will have their own representative in Congress. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; James H. (Gil) Gilmartin: Attorney REPUBLICAN; Howard P. (Buck) McKeon: Businessman GREEN; Charles Wilken: Teacher LIBERTARIAN; Peggy L. Christensen: Cardiac care consultant PEACE AND FREEDOM; Nancy Lawrence: Political organizer INDEPENDENT; Rick Pamplin: Small businessman/educator *

CONGRESS/ 26th District

Area: Arleta, Pacoima, Panorama City, San Fernando, Sylmar and Valley Village, and parts of Lake View Terrace, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Sunland and Van Nuys.

Registration: 59% D / 29% R

Background: A predominantly working class, heavily Democratic district in which the majority of residents are Latinos. Howard L. Berman, a five-term lawmaker, lost affluent, liberal communities in the Hollywood Hills through reapportionment but gained more Democrats in his new district. GOP nominee Gary Forsch, a conservative, says he hopes to cash in on voter discontent with incumbents. Nonetheless, this should be a safe seat for Democrats. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Howard L. Berman: Congressman REPUBLICAN; Gary Forsch: Businessman LIBERTARIAN; Bernard Zimring: Contractor PEACE AND FREEDOM; Margery Hinds: Medical assistant *

CONGRESS / 27th District

Area: Altadena, Burbank, Glendale, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, Sunland and Tujunga, and parts of Lake View Terrace, Sun Valley and Sylmar.

Registration: 42% D / 45% R

Background: A predominantly white, Republican-leaning district. Carlos J. Moorhead, rated the most conservative lawmaker in the House and a 20-year congressional veteran, is seeking reelection in a newly drawn district that has more Democrats and minorities than his previous district. His main challenger is Doug Kahn, a Democratic Party activist and political newcomer. Moorhead, though favored to win, says he is taking nothing for granted and is waging a full-scale campaign. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Doug Kahn: Small-business owner REPUBLICAN; Carlos J. Moorhead: Congressman GREEN; Jess Moorman: Attorney LIBERTARIAN; Dennis Decherd: Computer system analyst *

CONGRESS / 28th District

Area: Arcadia, Temple City, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Claremont, West Covina, Covina, Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas and Walnut, and parts of the City of Industry, Pasadena, Pomona and Rowland Heights.

Registration: 41% D / 48% R

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