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

October 25, 1992

California Senate races sprawl across the political landscape, taking in more voters per district than congressional races. Statewide, 20 of the 40 Senate seats are up every two years, with seven at stake in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties this year. In keeping with their ponderous size, Senate general elections tend to be lethargic contests. In two districts, the fur flew during the primaries but the winners in June seem assured of a trip to Sacramento. Only one district within the three counties, Senate District 27, seems in doubt. But political experts warn that this fall may be the season of upsets. Below are all Senate races in the three counties. The party registration figures are as of early September:

STATE SENATE / 19th District

Area: Covers Castaic, Gorman, Lake Hughes and Val Verde, part of Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hills, Northridge and Sylmar in Los Angeles County, and Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oxnard, Piru, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.

Registration: 40% D / 46% R

Background: A predominantly white, Republican district that has been realigned to include part of Ventura County. Cathie Wright won a hard-fought three-way primary race to become the GOP candidate for a seat being vacated by state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Santa Clarita), who is retiring. Democrat Henry Phillip Starr, a political newcomer, is waging an aggressive battle against the feisty Wright, who was elected to the Assembly in 1980. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Henry Phillip Starr: Attorney REPUBLICAN; Cathie Wright: Assemblywoman LIBERTARIAN; Richard N. Burns: Attorney PEACE AND FREEDOM; Charles Najbergier: Registered nurse *

STATE SENATE / 21st District

Area: Covers Sunland, Tujunga, Burbank, Glendale, La Crescenta, Montrose, La Canada Flintridge, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, Altadena, Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena and Temple City.

Registration: 43% D / 44% R

Background: A conservative, solidly GOP district. Republican Newton R. Russell has been representing this area, in the Assembly or the Senate, since 1964. Democrat Rachel J. Dewey, a physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is running an aggressive campaign, but she will have to overcome the area's strong tradition of electing Republicans. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Rachel J. Dewey: Scientist REPUBLICAN; Newton R. Russell: State senator LIBERTARIAN; James R. (Bob) New: Businessman PEACE AND FREEDOM; Jan B. Tucker: Private investigator *

SENATE / 23rd District

Area: Most of the Westside from Hollywood to Malibu, and the southern San Fernando Valley from Studio City to Westlake Village.

Registration: 54% D / 32% R

Background: After winning a bruising three-candidate primary in June, Tom Hayden should have an easy time in this strongly Democratic district. Republican Leonard H. McRoskey qualified for the general election ballot by write-in after no GOP candidates filed in the primary. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Tom Hayden: Assemblyman REPUBLICAN; Leonard H. McRoskey: Businessman LIBERTARIAN; William Weilburg: Businessman PEACE AND FREEDOM; Shirley R. Isaacson: School psychologist *

STATE SENATE / 25th District

Area: Lynwood, Paramount, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena and part of Compton.

Registration: 74% D / 16%R

Background: Democrats outnumber Republicans by such a large margin that this district is considered safe territory for Democratic Assemblywoman Teresa Hughes. Hughes jumped into the race after state Sen. Bill Green announced his retirement. After easily winning the primary, she faces minimal opposition. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Teresa Hughes: Assemblywoman REPUBLICAN; Cliff McClain: Community resource consultant PEACE AND FREEDOM; Hattie Marie Benn: Medical assistant *

STATE SENATE / 27th District

Area: Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Lakewood, Long Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes and San Pedro.

Registration: 46% D / 42%R

Background: In an ordinary year, Republican state Sen. Robert Beverly could win this seat without breaking a sweat. The longtime legislator is a moderate with supporters in labor and business and in the Republican and Democratic parties. But redistricting shifted his district from the Republican-leaning South Bay into new territory where Democrats hold a slight edge. Beverly is the favorite but could be in for a tough fight from Democrat Brian Finander, whose basic theme is that Beverly's 34 years in public office are about 20 too many. CANDIDATE: OCCUPATION DEMOCRAT; Brian Finander: Small business consultant REPUBLICAN; Robert G. Beverly: State senator PEACE AND FREEDOM; Patrick McCoy Video producer, teacher LIBERTARIAN; David J. Rosen: Businessman *

STATE SENATE / 29th District

Area: Covers all or most of Arcadia, Temple City, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Duarte, Bradbury, City of Industry, West Covina, Covina, part of Azusa, Glendora, Diamond Bar, La Verne, San Dimas, Claremont, Walnut, Whittier, La Habra Heights and La Mirada.

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