As Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and the Rev. Jesse Jackson campaign for Democratic votes in Ohio this Sunday, a quiet but no less vigorous struggle will be under way in congressional districts across California to select delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
At schools, churches and storefront offices in four South Bay congressional districts, 291 candidates loyal to Dukakis or Jackson will compete for 19 delegate slots.
Registered Democrats can vote for the delegate of their choice at their congressional district caucus. The top vote-getters on Sunday caucuses will have to await the results of the June 7 California presidential primary to learn whether they will attend the Democratic convention in July.
A total of 205 delegates will be allocated to Dukakis or Jackson based on their performance in each of California's 45 congressional districts. The remaining 131 delegates of the state's 336-member delegation will include Democratic Party and elected officials and at-large delegates, which will be divided according to the statewide vote.
Republicans do not choose convention delegates by caucuses. Instead, the presidential candidate selects a delegate slate.
California Democratic Party Chairman Peter D. Kelly said the competition will be fierce when the caucuses start at 3 p.m. "Being a delegate to a national convention is one of the great goodies in American politics. People will do anything to get it."
The competition will be particularly intense in the 27th Congressional District, which includes a swath of Democratic voters from Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica to the beach cities and Torrance. Seventy-four candidates want to become Dukakis delegates and 41 candidates want to be Jackson delegates. There are six delegates allocated to the district, which is represented by Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica). The number of delegates a district has is based on its loyalty to Democratic candidates in past elections.
In the nearby 31st Congressional District, which includes Hawthorne, Gardena, Carson, Compton, and the Harbor Gateway area, 48 candidates want to be delegates for Jackson; 28 for Dukakis. Five delegates are allocated to the district, represented by Mervyn M. Dymally (D-Compton).
In the 32nd Congressional District, which includes the eastern edge of the South Bay, there are 23 candidates seeking to become Jackson delegates and 19 who want to vote for Dukakis. The district, represented by Glenn M. Anderson (D-Harbor City), gets four delegates at the convention. It includes most of San Pedro and Wilmington, Long Beach, Lakewood and Downey.
In the heavily Republican 42nd Congressional District, represented by Daniel E. Lungren (R-Long Beach), 41 candidates want to be Dukakis delegates; 17 seek to represent Jackson. The district has four Democratic delegates and includes Torrance, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, parts of San Pedro, a strip of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Huntington Beach and northwestern Orange County.
Although the names of Illinois Sen. Paul Simon, Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore Jr. and Lyndon LaRouche will appear on the California ballot, they will not receive any delegates unless they get at least 15% of the vote in a district.
The caucuses will be held at the following locations:
27th Congressional District
Dukakis--El Segundo High School, 640 Main St., El Segundo. Jackson--Monroe Junior High School, 10711 10th Ave., Inglewood.
31st Congressional District
Dukakis--Steve White Junior High School, 22102 Figueroa St., Carson. Jackson--Gardena Community Center, 1700 W. 162nd St., Gardena.
32nd Congressional District
Dukakis--Marshall Junior High School Auditorium, 5870 E. Wardlow Road, Long Beach. Jackson--Jackson for President office, 835 Locust Ave., Long Beach.
42nd Congressional District
Dukakis--Los Alamitos High School Performing Arts Theater, 3591 Cerritos Ave., Los Alamitos. Jackson--Long Beach Unitarian Church, 5450 Atherton St., Long Beach.