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SPECIAL REPORT / ELECTION PREVIEW : DECISION '94 / A Voter's Guide to State and Local Elections : Statewide Offices : A look at the major candidates in contested races. : CONTROLLER

May 29, 1994

As the state's chief fiscal officer, the controller signs most state checks. He also serves as a member of the tax-collecting State Board of Equalization and Franchise Tax Board, as well as the boards guiding the investment of billions of dollars in public pension funds. Salary: $90,000 a year.

MAJOR CANDIDATES

There are contested races in both party primaries.

* Democrats: Rusty Areias, an Assembly member; Kathleen Connell, an investment banker, and Don Perata, an Alameda County supervisor.

* Republicans: Tom McClintock, a former Assemblyman, and John Morris, a business executive.

ISSUES

Perata calls for a halt to the proliferation of local special districts. Republicans McClintock and Morris and Democrat Areias say they could ferret out waste and usher in reform. Morris and Connell, making their first bids for elective office, describe themselves as outsiders eager to insert business principles into operations of the controller's office.

HISTORY

Previous state controllers who went on to higher office include two U.S. senators from California, Republican Thomas Kuchel (1946-1952) and Democrat Alan Cranston (1959-1966). More recent occupants of the post have been defeated in seeking other office or have retired. The present controller, Democrat Gray Davis, who has served two terms, is vacating the office to run for lieutenant governor.

PROFILES

RUSTY AREIAS

* Age: 44

* Residence: San Jose.

* Current position: Assembly member.

* Education: Bachelor's degree from Cal State Chico.

* Career highlights: He was first elected to the Assembly in 1982. He is a managing partner in a family-owned dairy in the San Joaquin Valley. Considered a moderate, Areias is chairman of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and played a leading role in efforts to provide relief after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

* Family: Unmarried.

*

KATHLEEN CONNELL

* Age: 46.

* Residence: Los Angeles.

* Current position: Investment banker.

* Education: Bachelor's degree from Hastings College; master's degree from University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. in urban planning from UCLA.

* Career highlights: Los Angeles director of housing 1977-83. She operates her own investment banking business, one of the few in the country owned by a woman, and is chairwoman of the Greater L.A. Equity Fund, an organization that promotes minority businesses.

* Family: Married, two children.

*

DON PERATA

* Age: 49.

* Residence: Alameda.

* Current position: Member of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

* Education: Bachelor's degree in theology and English from St. Mary's College, Moraga, Calif.

* Career highlights: County supervisor for the last eight years. A former schoolteacher, Perata is an advocate of stronger gun controland worked to join government and the private sector to revive the economy of Alameda County. * Family: Married, two children.

*

TOM MCCLINTOCK

* Age: 37.

* Residence: Thousand Oaks.

* Current position: Director, Center for the California Taxpayer, a fiscal and tax policy research organization.

* Education: Bachelor's degree from UCLA.

* Career highlights: The former state assemblyman was defeated in a 1992 campaign for Congress. McClintock received wide attention in the Legislature as an outspoken fiscal conservative.

* Family: Married, two children.

*

JOHN MORRIS

* Age: 36.

* Residence: Los Angeles.

* Current position: Commercial real estate investor.

* Education: Bachelor's degree from UCLA, master's degree in business from USC.

* Career highlights: Morris is the president of a shopping center development and investment company. He is the son of the founder of a department store chain.

* Family: Unmarried.

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