Don MacAllister, Republican
Don MacAllister not only talks a conservative line, he looks the part.
The former Huntington Beach mayor's close-cropped hair is nearly a 1950s-era flattop, and the only flash on his nondescript blue jacket is a GOP elephant pin that matches his elephant tie clasp.
"I am definitely a conservative," said the tall, amiable MacAllister, 62, as he sat outside a Main Street cafe in Huntington Beach drinking coffee. "I'd like to simplify government, to see the Legislature go back to being a part-time job. Our state was founded on the idea of part-time legislators and I don't see any need to be full-time."
MacAllister, a marketing consultant, has not hired a political consultant, has pledged to stay within his $25,000 campaign budget--$13,000 of it his own money--and expects no help from county party bosses because he is his own man, MacAllister said.
Nor did MacAllister pay much attention to people who urged him not to run because they feared too many Republicans would dilute the GOP vote.
"No one gave me a compelling reason not to run, and I believe I have as much reason as anyone else to run," MacAllister said. "The voters will make that decision. I'm not concerned."
Ideally, the voters' decisions should not be based on endorsements nor the war of mailers being waged throughout the district, MacAllister said. He has sent one mailer, plans perhaps only one more and is counting on his record in Huntington Beach, the largest city in the district, he said.
"Maybe I'm naive, but I hope the voters see through all the money being spent and look at community service, dedication and proven experience," MacAllister said. "That's what I am basing my campaign on."
MacAllister is proud of the progress made by the city of Huntington Beach, where he has lived for 30 years, but believes most cities and Orange County suffer from a common problem: Too much local tax money is siphoned off at various levels of government.
"These funds should come back down to the cities and county to give citizens more local control," he said.
MacAllister, who acknowledges he is a long-shot candidate, is not happy about the six-figure campaign spending by Republican candidate Scott Baugh, nor some of the attacks included in Baugh's mailers. But he vowed not to dwell on the negative.
"I don't attack anybody,"MacAllister said.
If someone is looking for a legislator who is a former Navy man, who has established roots in Huntington Beach and raised a family there, who has been in sales for more than 35 years and has built his own successful business, MacAllister is that candidate.
"We need more business people in the Legislature who understand budgets and want to reduce government over-regulation," he said. "My 25 years of service not only in Huntington Beach, but in the entire community, should bring me some votes. I've paid my dues."
Linda Moulton-Patterson, Democrat
With Tillotson's withdrawal, the dawning prospects of the race's only Democrat suddenly dwindled.
But don't expect Fountain Valley resident Moulton-Patterson, 52, to give up, despite a whopping disadvantage in campaign cash compared to the Republican front-runner, Scott Baugh. The heavy dose of state Democratic Party resources that most outsiders expected for the race's final week now might not materialize. But Moulton-Patterson still might be able to tap into the district's coastal Democrats and swing Republicans who favor her stances in favor of a woman's right to choose abortion and her reputation as an environmentalist.
Elected in 1990 to the Huntington Beach City Council, Moulton-Patterson served one four-year term before giving up her seat for an unsuccessful run for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, a contest she ultimately lost to City Council colleague Jim Silva in a runoff. She also served on the California Coastal Commission from 1991 until her departure from the council.
During those stints, Moulton-Patterson earned a reputation as a straight shooter who worked to protect the ecologically sensitive Bolsa Chica wetlands from overdevelopment and fought to prevent the construction of four sprawling restaurants on the beachfront of a municipality long known as Surf City.
The wife of the region's former congressman, Democrat Jerry Patterson, she gained national attention in 1992 when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention about her battle with breast cancer.
Her endorsements in the Assembly race reflect Moulton-Patterson's most heartfelt beliefs. She is backed by the National Women's Political Caucus, Women in Leadership, the Sierra Club and the league of Conservation Voters.
A grade school teacher, Moulton-Patterson also is a staunch defender of public education who opposed the failed 1993 school voucher initiative.
But in the race to represent an Assembly district where voter registration is more than half Republican, Moulton-Patterson has taken pains to highlight her more moderate beliefs. In a "Pledge to Voters" contained in one mailer, she vows to avoid party politics and partisan bickering and promises never to vote to raise taxes. She also pledged to fight against cuts in Medicare or Social Security, an appeal tailor-made for elderly voters.