The Marquee Race


The grandson of Italian immigrants, Checchi is a wealthy businessman who is spending his own millions to become governor.

* Political party: Democrat

* Age: 49


* Residence: Beverly Hills

* Education: Bachelor’s in economics and American studies, Amherst College, 1970; MBA, Harvard, 1974.

* Career highlights: Marriott Corp. 1974-82, directed the raising of capital and worldwide hotel development; principal at Texas-based Bass Brothers investment group 1982-86; moved to California in 1986 and led the 1989 purchase of Northwest Airlines. Took over a profitable but poorly managed airline. Union concessions and government loans helped ease crisis, and Northwest emerged stronger, analysts say.

* Priorities: Presents himself as an outsider who will shake up Sacramento as he has done with corporations. Criticizes his opponents as stale political veterans. Targeted increasingly important independent voters, as well as Republicans; both groups can vote for him in the blanket primary.



A 24-year veteran of California politics, Davis is lieutenant governor and says his experience makes him the most qualified gubernatorial candidate.

* Political party: Democrat

* Age: 55


* Residence: West Hollywood

* Education: Bachelor’s degree, Stanford University, 1964; law degree, Columbia University, 1967

* Career highlights: Captain, U.S. Army, earning Bronze Star for service in Vietnam, 1969; chief of staff to Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. 1975-81; state Assembly, 1982-86; state controller, 1987-94; lieutenant governor, 1995-present, and has used seats on the UC Board of Regents and the Cal State University board to fight for lower student fees and promote racial and ethnic diversity.

* Priorities: Presents himself as a Sacramento veteran who would ensure a steady course. Highlights ties to labor unions, Hollywood and other Democratic constituencies to overcome financial disadvantage to opponents.



A millionaire congresswoman, Harman has represented the Torrance area for nearly six years. She describes herself as a “pro-choice mother of four.”

* Political Party: Democrat

* Age: 52


* Residence: Rolling Hills and Washington, D.C.

* Education: University High in West Los Angeles, 1962; bachelor’s degree in government, Smith College, 1966; law degree, Harvard Law School, 1969.

* Career highlights: Legislative aide to U.S. Sen. John Tunney (D-Calif.) 1972-73; chief counsel to two Senate subcommittees, 1973-77; deputy secretary to President Jimmy Carter’s Cabinet, 1977-78; special counsel, Defense Department, 1979; corporate lawyer, lobbyist and Democratic activist, 1979-92; congresswoman, 1993-present, in a district whose voter registration is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Has been conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social questions.

* Priorities: Hopes to exploit a perceived gender gap among Democratic voters. Has focused on leadership style. Insists she will not resort to negative campaigning.



A California native born in Long Beach, Lungren touts his record as attorney general, the state’s top law enforcement officer.

* Political party: Republican

* Age: 51


* Residence: Sacramento

* Education: B.A., Notre Dame, 1964; law degree, Georgetown, 1971.

* Career highlights: In addition to two stints in private law practice, aide to U.S. Sens. George Murphy of California, 1969-70, and Bill Brock of Tennessee, 1971; elected to Congress from Long Beach, 1978 to 1988; 1988-90; state attorney general, 1990-present. Tenure marked by drop in the state’s crime rate, but also clouded by his controversial handling of ban on assault weapons and litigation against tobacco companies.

* Priorities: Takes credit for promoting tough sentencing laws. Emphasizes role in resuming capital punishment in California. Points to strong economy as key reason voters should continue 16 years of Republican control of the governor’s office.



Other Candidates for Governor


CANDIDATE RESIDENCE PARTY Pia Jensen Cotati City Democrat Michael Palitz Newport Beach Democrat Charles Pineda Jr. Sacramento Democrat James D. Crawford Ventura Republican Dennis Peron San Francisco Republican Eduardo M. Rivera Lomita Republican Jeff Williams California City Republican Nathan E. Johnson San Diego American Independent Dan Hamburg Oakland Green Steve W. Kubby Olympic Valley Libertarian Harold H. Bloomfield Del Mar Natural Law Marsha Feinland Berkeley Peace & Freedom Gloria Estela La Riva San Francisco Peace & Freedom



Source: California Secretary of State