The secretary of state's office ruled Thursday that former Assembly Speaker Doris Allen is ineligible to run for her old seat in Orange County because of term-limit restrictions.
Allen, who filed a candidacy declaration late Wednesday and paid a $786 filing fee, said she will challenge the ruling in court for the right to run for the 67th Assembly District seat that she lost after a contentious November 1995 recall campaign.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday February 8, 1998 Orange County Edition Part A Page 3 Metro Desk 2 inches; 62 words Type of Material: Correction
67th Assembly District--A story Friday about former Assembly Speaker Doris Allen's attempts to enter the June primary in the 67th Assembly District contained an erroneous headline. The secretary of state's office ruled that Allen was ineligible to run because of term limits. The story also inadvertently left out the name of one candidate. Longtime Democratic activist Marie Fennell of Huntington Beach filed a declaration of intent to run.
"I believe I can serve another term," Allen said from Sacramento, where she moved after selling her Cypress home in 1996 to pay debts accumulated during the recall race. She re-registered to vote Tuesday at an address in Westminster.
The state Republican Party launched the recall against her after Allen joined with Democrats to keep the GOP majority from controlling the Assembly. In exchange, Democrats backed her for speaker.
The state's term-limit law, passed in 1990, restricts Assembly members to three two-year terms. Allen was less than halfway through her third term when she was recalled on Nov. 28, 1995.
Secretary of State Bill Jones' office said the state Constitution is specific that a term is counted when a legislator takes office. The only exception is when a member is elected more than halfway through an existing term, spokeswoman Shirley Washington said. In that case, the member can serve three more terms.
Allen was replaced by Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach). He faces charges of misreporting campaign funds and is set to go on trial six days after the June primary.
Baugh said Thursday that he would not fight an attempt by Allen to be placed on the ballot and noted that 65% of those voting cast ballots for her recall.
If Allen prevails, six Republicans would be on the ballot for the June primary: herself; Baugh; Huntington Beach businesswoman Haydee Tillotson, who also ran in the Allen recall election; Seal Beach Mayor Marilyn Bruce Hastings; Orange County Board of Education member Felix Rocha Jr. of Fountain Valley; and first-time candidate Charles Conlosh of Fountain Valley.
Democrats who have filed primary candidacy declarations for the Assembly seat are Rima Nashashibi, a member of the county central committee; Joseph E. Ribal of Seal Beach; and Libertarian Autumn Browne of Westminster. Candidates may begin collecting nomination signatures Monday and have until March 6 to return them to qualify for the ballot.