Polling by Republican Party chieftains, who are concerned their candidates' effort to replace Assemblywoman Doris Allen may be hurt by vote-splitting, shows Democrat and former Huntington Beach Mayor Linda Moulton-Patterson with the greatest name identification among the field of six contenders, sources say.
Also surprisingly strong was relative newcomer Scott Baugh, a Republican who has mounted an early, expensive absentee ballot and mail campaign to replace the Cypress Republican if she is recalled. Baugh's name leaped to the front of the pack when poll respondents were told the candidates' backgrounds, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-Huntington Beach) endorsement of Baugh.
Allen faces a recall election in her 67th Assembly District Nov. 28. The six candidates will simultaneously compete to replace her if she is ousted.
Several GOP leaders at a recent meeting at the Center Club in Santa Ana successfully argued against those who wanted the Orange County legislative delegation to endorse Baugh now.
That group said an early endorsement would be unfair to Haydee V. Tillotson, another well-financed Republican candidate, whose campaign strategy does not include an early attempt to get her name before voters.
Other Republicans in the campaign for the seat from the northwest county district are Huntington Beach City School Board Trustee Shirley Carey and another former Huntington Beach mayor, Don MacAllister. Laurie Campbell is the second Democrat in the race.
The GOP group decided to keep a close watch on the contest and sternly warned the candidates to observe the party's 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.
67th District Leans Republican
Orange County's 67th Assembly District, the site of Nov. 28's attempt to recall Allen, is a majority Republican district. Here's a look at the 202,840 registered voters:
The 67th District includes all the voters in Cypress, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Seal Beach. Here are the percentages of voters from other places who make up the 67th's electorate:
Fountain Valley: 96%
La Palma: 84%
Midway City: 45%
Buena Park: 10%
Garden Grove: 4%
Source: Orange County registrar of voters
67th endorsements: The Orange County branch of the Log Cabin Club, made up predominantly of gay Republicans, will remain neutral in the recall but will endorse a replacement candidate on the last weekend before the election in the 67th District Assembly race.
"We have sick theocrats in this county who would take our endorsement and go the other way," said Frank Ricchiazzi, executive director of the club's political action committee.
The group believes it is a waste of money to oust Allen with so little time left in her term, which ends in 1996. But it also criticized Allen for not doing more to help attain a "clear Republican majority" in the Assembly, Ricchiazzi said.
In a separate endorsement, the Women in Leadership group of Orange County, which funds candidates who favor a woman's right to choose abortion, has backed Moulton-Patterson and Carey.
Watch for fireworks: With four strong Republican candidates set to do battle, the race next March for the Assembly seat in the 71st District now held by Mickey Conroy (R-Orange) keeps getting hotter.
Former Orange Mayor Jim Beam was the first to announce his candidacy and already has collected a considerable amount of money for his campaign, insiders say, with the backing of Carl Karcher, chairman emeritus of the parent company of the Carl's Jr. burger chain, Supervisor William G. Steiner and former Congressman William E. Dannemeyer, among others.
The race became more interesting when Conroy endorsed Orange businessman Bill Campbell, a Lincoln Club member and owner of several Taco Bell franchises. Later, another Lincoln Club member, Steve Cardona, joined the race along with Lake Forest Mayor Richard T. Dixon and Frank L. Ury, a Saddleback Valley Unified School District trustee.
Ury's campaign received a boost last week when he was endorsed by Ken Khachigian, a San Clemente political consultant and former speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Quayle on the bay: Former Vice President Dan Quayle cruised into Newport Beach Friday night as part of the annual dinner for the Claremont Institute, a conservative think tank.
The reception at the home of Republican fund-raiser Buck Johns was followed by a $1,000-a-couple dinner at the home of John Creen, chairman of Fleetwood Enterprises, a manufacturer of mobile homes and prefab housing.
Quayle attacked Clinton, boosted conservative values and called the congressional elections of 1994 a "watershed" in American history.
* Today: Assemblyman Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) will hold his annual fiesta from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Mission San Juan Capistrano, with former Dodger second baseman Steve Sax as special guest. Call (714) 489-2404.
* Tuesday: Assemblyman Jim Morrissey (R-Santa Ana) will hold his annual breakfast club meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the Planet Hollywood at South Coast Village. Call Betty Presley at (714) 540-9561.
* Wednesday: State Sen. Ross Johnson R-Newport Beach) will hold a fund-raiser from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Call Dennis Brown at (714) 786-8594.
Compiled by Times political writer Peter M. Warren and Times staff writer Len Hall.
Politics '95 appears every Sunday.