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THE CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS / A VOTERS' HANDBOOK: DECISION
'98 | The Statewide Offices / Profiles of Top Candidates;
Four Supreme Court Confirmations

Controller

November 01, 1998

RUBEN BARRALES

Barrales is waging a longshot campaign to become the next state controller. A rare Latino Republican officeholder, Barrales is urging Latinos to rethink their widespread allegiance to the Democratic Party. A win would make him the first Latino to win statewide office in more than a century He says his record as a county supervisor helping reduce crime, improve schools and hold public debt in check are solid credentials for the state post.

* Party: Republican

* Occupation: San Mateo County supervisor

* Age: 36

* Residence: Redwood City

* Education: Bachelor's degree in business and public administration from UC Riverside.

* Career highlights: Ran family construction business; elected to San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in 1992; helped establish one of the state's first charter schools at Garfield Elementary School in Redwood City; was unopposed in race for GOP nomination for state controller.

* Priorities: Promises to emphasize fiscal conservatism and the needs of small business and to use the position to fight for better public schools.

KATHLEEN CONNELL

Connell, running for reelection, leads in the polls over her lesser-known opponent. In her first four-year term, she eliminated 154 upper-level staff positions in her agency and undertook audits of the state lottery administration, the Medi-Cal program and other state departments, saying she has saved taxpayers more than $1 billion. She has received a mixture of praise for her accomplishments and criticism over fund-raising and other controversies.

* Party: Democratic

* Occupation: State controller

* Age: 52

* Residence: Los Angeles

* Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, Hastings College, Nebraska. Master's degree in urban planning, University of Pittsburgh. Doctorate from UCLA in urban planning and economics.

* Career highlights: Director of planning for former Mayor Tom Bradley; vice president, Chemical Bank, New York; owner of investment banking firm, Los Angeles; first director of the Center for Finance and Real Estate at UCLA; member of business school faculty at UCLA and UC Berkeley. Elected controller, 1994.

* Priorities: Saving taxpayers money by rooting out fraud and waste in state bureaucracies and through tough audits.

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