The voter-approved law limiting the number of terms California's legislators can hold office has produced an equation that goes something like this: Term Limits=Open Seats=Lively Primaries.
In Los Angeles County, that formula has yielded 11 pitched battles for Assembly seats with no incumbent on the ballot in Tuesday's primary election.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 7, 2000 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 2 inches; 44 words Type of Material: Correction
Assembly races--A story in Sunday's Metro section about hotly contested races for state Assembly seats erroneously stated that one of the Republicans had dropped out. Chino City Councilman Dennis R. Yates is one of three people seeking the GOP nomination in the 61st Assembly District in today's primary election.
Three districts feature contested primaries on both the Democratic and Republican sides and are likely to be hard fought by both major parties in the fall. They are:
* 43rd District, comprising part of Burbank and Glendale and the Los Angeles communities of Los Feliz and Silver Lake, features three candidates from each major party. Democrats are attorney and college instructor Dario J. Frommer, medical school administrator John Hisserich and entertainment business attorney Paul Krekorian. Republicans are businessman/attorney/instructor Mark MacCarley, computer manufacturing executive Liz Michael and attorney Craig Harry Missakian.
* 44th District, which comprises part of Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena, La Canada Flintridge and Temple City, has four Democrats and three Republicans on the primary ballot. Democrats are business manager Victor M. Franco Jr., actor and attorney Barry Gordon, Carol Liu, a La Canada Flintridge councilwoman, and businesswoman/attorney Diana Peterson-More. Republicans are Susan Carpenter-McMillan, a television commentator best known as a spokeswoman for Bill Clinton accuser Paula Jones; businessman Damian Aaron Jones, and senior citizens' advocate Robert Wagner.
* 61st District, which straddles Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, has drawn two Republicans (a third has dropped out) and two Democrats to the fray. Vying for the GOP nomination are Edward S. Cortez, a businessman and mayor of Pomona, and businessman Bob DeMallie, who ran for the seat in 1998. Democrats are Paul Vincent Avila, a board member of the Ontario-Montclair Unified School District, and Gloria Negrete McLeod, a member of the Chaffey Community College District board. Libertarian David Kocot also is running.
Five of the open seats are in districts so heavily Democratic that the primary winner is virtually assured of going to Sacramento. They include:
* 42nd District, which runs from Westwood and Beverly Hills, across the Hollywood Hills and into parts of the San Fernando Valley, features Democrats Paul Koretz, a West Hollywood councilman, attorney Amanda Susskind, and physician Daniel J. Stone. Others on the ballot are Republican Douglas Cleon Taylor, Libertarian Mark Allen Selzer, Ivka Adam of the Natural Law Party, and Sara Amir of the Green Party.
* 45th District, where Los Angeles Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg is competing with gay activist Cesar Portillo for the Democratic nomination. A third Democrat dropped out, and no other candidates are running in the district, which comprises parts of Hollywood, Mt. Washington, Echo Park, Highland Park and Eagle Rock.
* 51st District, which features a five-way Democratic contest (a sixth Democrat dropped out), including three Inglewood City Council members, Jose Fernandez, Jerome E. Horton and Judy Dunlap; Inglewood school board member Thomasina Reed, and Lennox school board member Trini Jimenez. The only other candidate in the district, which also includes Hawthorne, Lawndale and South-Central Los Angeles, is Republican Antoine Hawkins.
* 55th District, running from parts of Compton and Carson to Wilmington and part of Long Beach, has four Democrats on the ballot: Long Beach Councilwoman Jenny Oropeza; venture capitalist Keith McDonald, whose mother represents the area in Congress; Compton Community College board President Carl Robinson Sr., and civil rights attorney Edward Tabash. Republican Saul Lankster and Libertarian Guy Wilson also are running.
* 57th District, where four Democrats are vying in the San Gabriel Valley communities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, El Monte, Irwindale, La Puente and Hacienda Heights. They are La Puente Mayor Edward Chavez, an aide to the district's retiring assemblyman, Martin Gallegos; El Monte Councilman and Cal State Fullerton journalism professor Tony Fellow; Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano; and Patricia A. Wallach, a former El Monte councilwoman. Republicans are fielding teacher Katherine Licari Venturoso.
There also is a hot Democratic primary in the 41st District, which stretches from Santa Monica and Malibu across the Santa Monica Mountains into Agoura Hills and the west San Fernando Valley. Although it has been a Democratic stronghold, the fall outcome here is somewhat less certain.