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DECISION '94 : Voters' Guide : A LOOK AT AREA CONGRESSIONAL AND LEGISLATIVE RACES

October 30, 1994

ASSEMBLY/45th District

Area: Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, Calabasas.

Registration: 51% Democrat, 36% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Sheila James Kuehl, 53, attorney, law professor.

Republican: Michael T. Meehan, 28, reserve deputy sheriff.

Libertarian: Philip W. Baron, 33, real estate salesman.

BACKGROUND

After routing five Democratic challengers in the primary, the liberal Kuehl is expected to come out on top in this Westside-Valley district, which has for two years been the bailiwick of retiring Assemblyman Terry B. Friedman (D-Brentwood). Kuehl's Republican opponent, Meehan, is banking on a large turnout of conservative voters to score an upset.

ASSEMBLY/42nd District

Area: West Los Angeles east of the San Diego Freeway and north of Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, Studio City.

Registration: 60% Democrat, 25% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Wally Knox, 47, attorney and Los Angeles Community College District board member.

Republican: Robert Davis, 49, entrepreneur.

Libertarian: Eric M. Fine, 31, business consultant.

BACKGROUND

Knox squeaked past six other Democrats in the June primary. Given the lopsided Democratic registration advantage in this district, he is the clear front-runner in the general election contest. His tough-on-crime stance has been softened somewhat since the primary, and he says he opposes the "three-strikes" and anti-illegal immigration initiatives on the ballot. Challenger Davis, taking traditional GOP stands against high taxes and high spending, is fighting an uphill battle.

ASSEMBLY/47th District

Area: Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills, Culver City, Cheviot Hills.

Registration: 76% Democrat, 14% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Kevin Murray, 34, lawyer.

Republican: Jonathan Leonard, 63, retired firefighter.

Libertarian: Kevin C. Murphy, 40, computer software designer.

Peace and Freedom: Tamara Taleebah, 45, teacher.

BACKGROUND

Given the overwhelming Democratic tilt of the 47th, the real contest in this district was the nine-candidate Democratic primary. Leonard, however, still hopes to make a race of it. And confusion between Murray and Libertarian Murphy could shake things up a little. But analysts say there's little to stop Murray and his father, Assemblyman Willard Murray, from becoming the Assembly's first father-son team.

ASSEMBLY/53rd District

Area: Venice, Westchester, Marina del Rey, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance.

Registration: 43% Democrat, 41% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Debra Bowen, 39, assemblywoman.

Republican: Julian Sirull, 36, businessman.

Libertarian: William N. Gaillard, 42, public works employee.

Peace and Freedom: J. Kevin Bishop, 47, cable installer.

BACKGROUND

Bowen is running her first reelection race with a solid campaign bankroll and a growing reputation as an activist in the Assembly. Sirull touts his business experience as a commercial real estate agent, and says he would do more to keep businesses from leaving the state. But unless he gets a last-minute boost from the state Republican party, pundits say he'll have trouble making this a contest.

STATE SENATE/28th District

Area: Playa del Rey, Westchester, Marina del Rey, Venice, Compton, Carson, Wilmington.

Registration: 52% Democrat, 33% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Ralph C. Dills, state senator.

Republican: David Barrett Cohen, attorney.

Libertarian: Neal Arvid Donner, teacher.

Peace and Freedom: Cindy V. Henderson, customer service representative.

BACKGROUND

Dills first went to Sacramento when F.D.R. was in the White House, and he's fighting hard to stay there for four more years. Because of reapportionment, the veteran lawmaker is running in partially new territory that is not nearly as friendly as his old district. Cohen, a Redondo Beach attorney, is urging voters to send new blood to the capital. The key to the race is whether Democrats stay loyal to their party stalwart or get on the anti-incumbent bandwagon.

CONGRESS/24th District

Area: Malibu, Calabasas, Reseda, Thousand Oaks, Woodland Hills.

Registration: 50% Democrat, 37% Republican.

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Anthony C. Beilenson, 61, congressman.

Republican: Rich Sybert, 42, businessman.

Libertarian: John C. Koehler, 24, small-business developer.

BACKGROUND

In possibly his toughest campaign since he first went to Washington 18 years ago, Beilenson faces a well-financed GOP opponent and a national anti-incumbent clamor. Sybert, a former top aide to Gov. Pete Wilson, has had fund-raising help from national Republican leaders. But Beilenson, a senior member of the powerful House Rules Committee, is a veteran campaigner who knows his affluent district well. Pundits predict a tight race.

CONGRESS/29th District

Area: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles.

Registration: 59% Democrat, 26% Republican

CANDIDATES

Democrat: Henry A. Waxman, 55, congressman.

Republican: Paul Stepanek, 33, businessman.

Libertarian: Michael J. Binkley, 48, software engineer.

BACKGROUND

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