Assemblyman James Rogan (R-Glendale), 37, was first elected to the Assembly in May, 1994. A former Municipal Court judge, Rogan is married and has two children.
Democratic challenger Adam Schiff, 34, a Burbank resident is a former assistant U.S. Attorney. He is single.
This race will be a big test for Rogan and the Glendale-based conservative Republicans who have long controlled the 43rd District. In May, Rogan won a special election to fill the seat left vacant after Pat Nolan, the area representative since 1978, pleaded guilty to a political corruption charge and went to prison.
The 43rd District has lately shown signs of slipping from its old GOP moorings in part because a 1992 reapportionment plan pulled Silver Lake and parts of Hollywood into it.
Armed with a law enforcement background, Schiff has portrayed himself as a moderate Democrat while calling Rogan a captive of the Christian fundamentalists who have given his campaign more than $55,000. Rogan recently helped add to this picture by declaring he supported teaching creation theory in the public schools, albeit alongside evolutionary theory.
Rogan has bristled at Schiff’s charge that his Christian fundamentalist supporters would use the machinery of government to advance their religious aims. Schiff’s real concerns here having nothing to do with separation of church and state, Rogan has charged. Rather, he has said, they stem from a liberal’s fear that his own secular views, long dominant in the political culture, are being challenged by Christians.
Rogan, a former Democratic Party activist who became a highly publicized GOP convert in 1988 (then-U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson welcomed him into the party), campaigns as a tax-fighter and defender of Proposition 13. He also supports Proposition 187, the measure to deny benefits to illegal immigrants.
Schiff opposes the controversial Prop. 187 and has disputed Rogan’s claim to fiscal conservativism by noting that the incumbent has agreed to accept a pay hike approved for legislators by a citizens panel.
District registration is 45% Democratic, 41% Republican.
Also running is Libertarian Willard Michlin, a real estate broker from Hollywood.