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

October 25, 1992

The battle for control of the Assembly between the Republicans and Democrats is centering on about 15 highly competitive races statewide, at least five of which are being fought in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The balance of the 31 Assembly districts in the three counties were more or less locked up in the June primaries because of voter registration advantages that would be difficult for opponents on the short end to surmount. Of those races, 16 are expected to be claimed by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. That equation could be altered by a wave of anti-incumbent fervor, with 18 of 31 seats being sought by incumbents. Republicans would benefit from that trend. On the other hand, a heavy vote for Bill Clinton in the presidential race or a large turnout by women because of interest in the Senate seats being sought by women candidates could give a big boost to Democratic candidates at the Assembly level. Listed below are all Assembly races that are being contested in the three counties. The major party registration figures are as of early September:

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ASSEMBLY / 36th District

Area: Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Gorman, Lancaster, Leona Valley, Littlerock, Llano, Palmdale, Pearblossom, Quartz Hill, Santa Clarita and Saugus.

Registration: 35% D / 53% R

Background: Predominantly Anglo and heavily Republican, the new district was pieced together from several other districts to unite the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. There is no incumbent. Arnie Rodio, a Lancaster city councilman and conservative Democrat, and Republican William J. (Pete) Knight, a former Palmdale mayor, are remarkably similar in outlook and philosophy. Rodio may attract some GOP voters, but the numbers are on Knight's side. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Arnie Rodio: City councilman REPUBLICAN; William J. (Pete) Knight: Businessman and former mayor LIBERTARIAN; Ronald Tisbert: Small-businessman *

ASSEMBLY / 38th District

Area: Castaic, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Lake Hughes, North Hills, Northridge and Val Verde and part of Saugus, Sylmar and Valencia in Los Angeles County, and Fillmore, Piru and Simi Valley and part of Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.

Registration: 40% D / 47% R

Background: A primarily Anglo and predominantly Republican district. Howard Cohen, who is running a shoestring campaign, is hoping for a miracle in his battle against incumbent Paula L. Boland, who is seeking a second term. This is considered a safe Republican seat. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Howard Cohen: Businessman REPUBLICAN; Paula L. Boland: Assemblywoman LIBERTARIAN; Devin Cutler: Business finance professional *

ASSEMBLY / 39th District

Area: Northeastern San Fernando Valley communities of Arleta, Pacoima, Panorama City, San Fernando, Sylmar and part of Lake View Terrace, North Hollywood and Sun Valley.

Registration: 61% D / 28% R

Background: A largely blue-collar area with a heavy minority population that is solid Democratic turf. Democrat Richard Katz, who has represented the district since 1980, is expected to retain his seat. Katz is exploring a run for mayor of Los Angeles next year. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Richard Katz: Assemblyman REPUBLICAN; Nicholas Fitzgerald: Businessman LIBERTARIAN; David H. George: Production electronic technician *

ASSEMBLY / 40th District

Area: Most of North Hollywood, Panorama City, Reseda and Van Nuys and part of Encino, Panorama City, Studio City, Tarzana and Winnetka.

Registration: 55% D / 32% R

Background: A predominantly Anglo, Democratic district. Barbara Friedman, who lost her Los Angeles district to reapportionment, had announced she would run in the 41st Assembly District against Assemblyman Pat Nolan (R-Glendale). But after veteran Assemblyman Tom Bane, who had represented the 40th District for more than 30 years, announced his retirement, she switched districts. Despite charges of political carpetbagging, Friedman is favored to win the race against Republican Horace H. Heidt, a bandleader and businessman, and three minor party candidates. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Barbara Friedman: Assemblywoman REPUBLICAN; Horace H. Heidt: Businessman GREEN; Glenn Bailey: Community issues specialist LIBERTARIAN; John Vernon: Businessman PEACE AND FREEDOM; Jean K. Glasser: Teacher *

ASSEMBLY / 41st District

Area: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Malibu, southwestern San Fernando Valley.

Registration: 50% D / 38% R

Background: A predominantly Anglo, affluent district regarded as competitive by both parties. It contains only 25% of the territory that Terry B. Friedman, a liberal Democrat, has represented since 1986. Republican Christine Reed, a moderate who favors abortion rights, was a city councilwoman in Santa Monica for 15 years. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Terry B. Friedman: Assemblyman REPUBLICAN; Christine Reed: Ex-Santa Monica councilwoman LIBERTARIAN; Roy A. Sykes Jr.: Business owner *

ASSEMBLY / 42nd District

Area: West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Studio City.

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