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/ 56th Assembly District

Sally Havice (D) vs. Phil Hawkins (R)

October 09, 1998

This conservative, increasingly Latino district is right at the top of both parties' target list.

Republican Phil Hawkins, who held the seat from 1994 to 1996, then gave it up to run unsuccessfully for the state Senate, is trying to make a comeback against first-term incumbent Sally Havice (D-Cerritos).

During his term in the Assembly, Hawkins carved out a solidly conservative record on most issues, but his part in highly unpopular legislation to keep Downey Community Hospital from having to hold public meetings is coming back to haunt him. Havice, a Latina, sponsored legislation to allow Downey City Council members to attend hospital board meetings, only to have Gov. Pete Wilson veto it last week.

Havice, who eked out her 1996 victory with a 49%-48% margin, got slightly less than 50% of the total vote in the June primary.

"It's a tight race," said Darry Sragow, a consultant who is heading the Assembly Democratic leadership's campaign efforts this year.

Registration numbers favor Democrats by a 51%-34% margin. Libertarian Bruce McKenzie also is on the ballot.

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