La Follette Shifts Gears, Plans 6th Bid for Assembly

Times Staff Writer

Assemblywoman Marian W. La Follette, who had expressed interest in seeking statewide office or a state appointment, said Tuesday that she intends to run for reelection to a sixth Assembly term in 1990.

“It looks like I will be up for reelection so I can do my share in the reapportionment battle,” the Northridge Republican said in an interview from Sacramento, where the Legislature opened its 1989-90 session.

Reapportionment is the process that the Legislature and governor will undertake to redraw the districts for the state Assembly and Senate and for Congress after the 1990 elections.


La Follette, a former trustee of the Los Angeles Community College District, had made no secret of her desire to run for state superintendent of public instruction if incumbent Bill Honig decided to seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1990. But Honig announced Nov. 30 that he will run for a third 4-year term.

Formal Filing

La Follette filed her intention to run for the Assembly with the state Fair Political Practices Commission on Dec. 31.

The timing of her decision was accelerated by the campaign-reform law passed by voters in June. Under Proposition 73, politicians must announce their intention to seek office before they can raise money to run. They can declare for more than one office but will not be allowed to transfer funds between the various campaign accounts.

After her overwhelming reelection in November, La Follette, 62, expressed frustration that, as part of the GOP minority, her ability to accomplish anything legislatively is dependent on the support of the majority Democrats. The Democrats further cemented their control of the Assembly by gaining three additional seats statewide.

La Follette had said that another option would be to decline to run for office again in 1990 and hope that Gov. George Deukmejian would be reelected and appoint her to a state post. Deukmejian, however, is said to have reservations about running for a third term and has not announced his intentions.

La Follette said her enthusiasm for the Assembly has been heightened by her recent decision to champion a statewide education measure. She said that the proposal will “open up the debate about open enrollment” and expand choices for students and parents.

She said it is too early to disclose specifics of the measure, which she expects to introduce in the Legislature. If the measure does not pass, she said, she will seek a statewide ballot initiative.

La Follette has not faced a serious challenge in her moderately Republican 38th Assembly District since 1984. However, she said that with reapportionment looming after the 1990 contests, Democratic Speaker Willie Brown of San Francisco may decide to field a strong candidate and channel large sums to the challenger’s campaign in an effort to oust her.