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October 25, 1992

Orange County has long been touted by the local GOP as the most Republican county in the nation. Although the county's Republican leadership predicts that the party will once again squash the competition in most of the county's six Assembly races, several scrappy Democratic challengers aren't buying it.

Indeed, in the 69th Assembly District, the incumbent happens to be a Democrat--a fact that bothers Republicans no end. As a result, the GOP has mounted a feisty campaign pitting challenger Jo Ellen Allen against freshman Assemblyman Tom Umberg (D-Garden


In most of the other races, the GOP enjoys a wide voter-registration advantage, but the Democrats--as well as Libertarians and other third-party candidates--hope to run strong. And in a few cases, Democrats are even predicting they can win.

Among the most optimistic: Ken LeBlanc in the 67th, Linda Kay Rigney in the 68th, Jim Toledano in the 70th and Lee Walker in the 73rd. The election also marks the political revival of former Assemblyman Curt Pringle, who was defeated by Umberg in 1990.

The Issues

The following are the questions asked of each candidate:

Abortion rights--Do you support or oppose abortion rights?

Education voucher--Do you support the proposed education initiative, which would provide parents with a voucher they can use to send their children to the school of their choice, including a private institution?

Health care plan--Do you support Proposition 166, the California Medical Assn.'s health care initiative requiring all employers to provide basic coverage for any employee working more than half-time?

Gay rights--Do you support legislation, similar to AB 101, prohibiting discrimination by employers against homosexuals?

Welfare plan--Do you support Gov. Pete Wilson's proposed budget and welfare plan, calling for a minimum 10% reduction in welfare grants, incentives to stay in school, lower payments for new state residents and enhancement of the governor's budgetary powers?

Gnatcatcher--Should the California gnatcatcher, a rare bird that nests in areas targeted for development, be designated as a state endangered species?

The Candidates



Age: 56

Home: Cypress

Occupation: State assemblywoman

Background: Served on Huntington Beach school board for four years (1978-1981). Elected to Assembly in 1982.

Issues: Abortion rights--opposes. Education voucher-- opposes. Health care plan--opposes. Gay rights--opposes. Welfare plan--supports. Gnatcatcher--further study needed.


Age: 36

Home: Huntington Beach

Occupation: Corporate officer, Eureka Products Co., Huntington Beach.

Background: Previously with Ford Motor Co. in New York and Connecticut. Never ran for public office.

Issues: Abortion rights--supports. Education voucher-- opposes. Health care plan--opposes. Gay rights--supports. Welfare plan--opposes. Gnatcatcher--no opinion.


Age: 25

Home: Huntington Beach

Occupation: Aerospace engineer, McDonnell Douglas, Huntington Beach.

Background: Chairman of Libertarian Party in Orange County.

Issues: Abortion rights--supports. Education voucher-- supports. Health care plan--opposes. Gay rights--opposes. Welfare plan--supports. Gnatcatcher--opposes.


Curt Pringle: REPUBLICAN

Age: 33

Home: Garden Grove

Occupation: Vice president, Pringle's Draperies, Anaheim.

Background: Former assemblyman, 1988-1990. Three-time candidate for Garden Grove City Council. Worked with family business in Anaheim for 20 years.

Issues: Abortion rights--opposed. Education voucher-- support. Health care--opposed. Gay rights--opposed. Welfare plan--support. Gnatcatcher--opposed.

Linda Kay Rigney: DEMOCRAT

Age: 48

Home: Garden Grove

Occupation: Education assistant, Alamitos Intermediate School

Background: Worked at school for 15 years.

Issues: Abortion rights--supports. School voucher-- opposed. Health care--opposed. Gay rights--supports. Welfare plan--opposed. Gnatcatcher--opposed.


Tom Umberg: DEMOCRAT

Age: 37

Home: Garden Grove

Occupation: State assemblyman

Background: Elected to Assembly, 1990. Major in Army Reserve; former Army captain, serving in Korea and Italy, 1981-1985. Former assistant U.S. attorney in Santa Ana, 1987-1990.

Issues: Abortion rights--supports. Education voucher-- opposed. Health care--supports. Gay rights--supports. Welfare plan--supports welfare reform, but opposes Wilson plan as budget power grab. Gnatcatcher--opposed to endangered species status, supports protected habitats.

Jo Ellen Allen: REPUBLICAN

Age: 45

Home: Santa Ana

Occupation: Former associate college professor.

Background: Former candidate for Newport-Mesa Unified School District board, 1989. State president of Eagle Forum of California since 1981, a conservative political organization. Associate college professor in political science at West Los Angeles College, 14 years.

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