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Julie Alban (R) vs. Alan Lowenthal (D)

October 09, 1998

Republican Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall's bid for Congress opened up this seat to contested primaries for both major parties in this swing district.

The Republicans are fielding Julie Alban, a young city prosecutor from Long Beach with a compelling personal story and a family wealthy and connected enough to help bankroll her campaign.

Alban was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair several years ago when her boyfriend shot her as she broke off their romance. She went on to earn a law degree and become an articulate victims' rights advocate. And she proved her campaign mettle in a bitter four-way primary contest.

Democrat Alan Lowenthal, a Long Beach city councilman, college psychology professor and an alternate on the California Coastal Commission, is pushing his experience in local government. He counts the city's economic revitalization and its community-based policing program among his accomplishments. He lists endorsements from an array of local elected officials.

The district has seesawed between the Republican and Democratic columns in recent years. It voted strongly for Gov. Pete Wilson in 1994 but chose President Clinton over Bob Dole in 1996. Kuykendall clung to his seat 51% to 49% in his reelection bid two years ago.

Registration gives Democrats a 45% to 39% edge over Republicans. Other candidates are Phil Drake of the American Independent Party and Libertarian Al Carlan.

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