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U.S. SENATE

BARBARA BOXER

A first-term senator, Boxer leads in primary polling, despite postponing advertising until a Republican opponent for November is chosen.

* Political Party: Democrat

* Age: 57

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* Residence: Greenbrae

* Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, Brooklyn College

* Career highlights: Stockbroker; journalist; Marin County Board of Supervisors, 1976-82; U.S. House of Representatives, 1983-93; U.S. senator since 1993; helped secure $11 billion for Northridge quake relief, $59 million for the Alameda Transportation Corridor, $200 million for El Nino relief and $26 million for a Los Angeles Harbor improvement project.

* Priorities: Remains committed to protecting environment and women’s and children’s causes. But now favors death penalty for heinous crimes, is a leading Silicon Valley advocate, and expresses concerns that Endangered Species Act is sometimes too strictly enforced.

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MATT FONG

Current state treasurer, Fong follows in the footsteps of his mother, a former state assemblywoman who ran for the Senate in 1987.

* Political Party: Republican

* Age: 44

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* Residence: Hacienda Heights

* Education: Bachelor’s degree, U.S. Air Force Academy; MBA, Pepperdine; JD, Southwestern University School of Law.

* Career highlights: In Air Force, was computer data processing officer; lawyer with Los Angeles firm, 1985-91; unsuccessful run for state controller, 1990; appointed to State Board of Equalization, 1991. Elected state treasurer, 1994, and has helped boost state’s credit rating and put pressure on Swiss banks to return funds to Holocaust survivors and their families.

* Priorities: Stresses experience in government and conservative fiscal views. Wants to “knock down the remaining barriers that prevent every American from holding a piece of the American dream.”

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DARRELL ISSA

Born in Cleveland, Issa is a San Diego County businessman who says government often is the enemy of economic growth.

* Political party: Republican

* Age: 44

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* Residence: Vista

* Education: Associate arts degree, Kent State University (Ohio). Bachelor’s degree, Siena Heights College (Michigan).

* Career highlights: U.S. Army captain; left active duty to join firm that created an electronic bug extermination device, 1980; started Directed Electronics to make car alarms, 1982 (firm has annual sales of $75 million, employs 95 workers); received Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Inc. magazine in 1994. Served as co-chairman of winning Proposition 209 campaign.

* Priorities: Says he will be a voice in Washington for smaller government, more freedom and “trusting the individual to do the right thing.”

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