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Most Incumbents Face Weak Competition


A "throw out the bums" attitude may be gripping voters nationwide, but most of the congressional and legislative officeholders in districts covering the San Gabriel Valley face only marginal challenges. Fund raising and voter registration strongly favor most incumbents.

The area's hottest race pits Assemblyman Bill Hoge (R-Pasadena) against former Pasadena Police Chief Bruce Philpott in a no-holds-barred mudfest.

The other relatively close race has Rep. Carlos J. Moorhead (R-Glendale), first elected in 1972, facing a well-funded Altadena businessman who made a strong showing against the congressman two years ago.

Rep. Jay C. Kim (R-Diamond Bar) is still the target of a federal investigation into possible violations of election, tax and labor laws, but he is expected to retain the seat he won two years ago.

ASSEMBLY / 44th District

Area: La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Sunland, Tujunga.

Registration: 45% Democrat; 43% Republican.

Candidates: Bill Hoge (R), assemblyman; Bruce Philpott (D), retired police chief; Ken Saurenman (Lib.), contractor.

Background: Hoge, who won a close election two years ago against an underfunded challenger, is being taken to the wire this time by a strong Democratic challenger, former Pasadena Police Chief Philpott. Hoge, a conservative who has advocated putting the National Guard on the border to stop illegal immigration and requiring the death penalty for anyone committing three violent crimes, has considerably more money than Philpott. But Philpott has a lot of political currency in his standing as a former police chief. And he has been hitting hard at Hoge for accepting more than $100,000 in campaign donations from gambling interests and carrying gambling-related legislation. Philpott pledges to work for campaign reform to limit the influence of special interests in the state Capitol.

ASSEMBLY / 49th District

Area: Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead.

Registration: 61% Democrat; 25% Republican.

Candidates: Kim Goldsworthy (Lib.), salesman; Diane Martinez (D), assemblywoman; George H. Nirschl III (R).

Background: Like many of the other candidates, Martinez faced her toughest opponent in the June primary in her quest for a second term representing the heavily Democratic district. Martinez scored a legislative victory recently when the governor signed into law her bill allowing the state to extend the Long Beach (710) Freeway through South Pasadena without the city's approval. Martinez is expected to score an easy win over her two opponents.

ASSEMBLY / 57th District

Area: Azusa, Baldwin Park, El Monte, La Puente.

Registration: 57% Democrat; 30% Republican.

Candidates: David Argall, (Lib.), newspaper deliverer; Martin Gallegos (D), chiropractor; Frank Yik (R), programmer.

Background: This seat opened up when Assemblywoman Hilda L. Solis (D-El Monte) decided to run for state Senate. Democrat Gallegos, a chiropractor who runs his own clinic, emphasized his experience running a small business to win his party's nomination in a tough primary battle. Gallegos is expected to easily defeat Republican Frank Yik and Libertarian David C. Argall in the heavily Democratic district.

ASSEMBLY / 59th District

Area: Claremont, Covina, Monrovia, Pomona, San Dimas.

Registration: 48% Republican; 40% Democratic.

Candidates: Margalo Ashley-Farrand (D), lawyer; Richard Mountjoy (R), assemblyman.

Background: Mountjoy is running in this Republican district at the same time he is campaigning for the final two years of the Senate seat recently resigned by former Sen. Frank Hill. The conservative Mountjoy is expected to win both seats. If so, he would resign the Assembly seat he has held since 1978. Ashley-Farrand has attacked Mountjoy for failing to drop out of the Assembly race to spare voters the cost of a special election.

ASSEMBLY / 60th District

Area: Diamond Bar, La Mirada, West Covina, Whittier.

Registration: 43% Democrat; 43% Republican.

Candidates: Paul V. Horcher (R), assemblyman; Andrew M. (Andy) Ramirez (D), political consultant; Michael L. Welte (Lib.), engineer.

Background: Horcher is expected to win his third term in the Assembly after losing a special election in September when he tried to move up to the state Senate. Horcher, who calls a mainstream candidate, thinks his appeal to moderates and conservatives alike will make the difference in this race. Voter registration favors Horcher because Republicans generally turn out in higher numbers than do Democrats.

ASSEMBLY / 61st District

Area: Pomona, Ontario, San Bernardino County.

Registration: 45% Democrat; 44% Republican.

Candidates: Fred Aguiar (R), assemblyman; Larry Silva (D), counselor.

Background: Aguiar ran unopposed in the June primary and comes up against an underfunded challenger, Silva, in the general election. Republican voter turnout favors Aguiar winning a second term. And Silva, who at 26 has never held public office, has been unable to raise the money to mount a serious challenge.

SENATE / 24th District

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