Leslie is running for lieutenant governor; he is facing the end of his tenure in the state Senate in two years because of term limits. A strong conservative, he has spent much of the campaign courting more moderate voters.
* Party: Republican
* Occupation: State senator
* Age: 56
* Residence: Tahoe City
* Education: Bachelor’s degree, political science, Cal State Long Beach. Master’s degree, public administration, USC. Graduated from Arcadia High School.
* Career highlights: Consultant to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, lobbyist for the County Supervisors Assn. of California and then a real estate agent. First elected to the Assembly in 1986 and to the state Senate in 1991.
* Priorities: Proposes to shift remedial education out of state universities and into community colleges; would use post as a “bully pulpit” from which to speak out on conservative issues, including need to balance environmental and business concerns.
Bustamante’s short Assembly career also is being ended by term limits. A victory would make him the first Latino elected to statewide office in more than a century.
* Party: Democrat
* Occupation: Assemblyman
* Age: 45
* Residence: Fresno
* Education: Attended Fresno City College and Fresno State University, where he studied public administration and served in the student senate. Began an internship with Rep. B.F. Sisk in Washington, D.C., and dropped out of college to pursue political service. Attended high school in Tranquility, Calif.
* Career highlights: Worked for Fresno Employment and Training Commission, then became director of the Summer Youth Employment Training Program. District representative for two Fresno Democrats, Rep. Rick Lehman and Assemblyman Bruce Bronzan. First elected to Bronzan’s seat in 1993. Became speaker of the Assembly in December 1996, and served 14 months.
* Priorities: Wants to boost U.S. trade with Mexico; says his ability to bring warring factions together would reduce partisan bickering. Wants to ensure that new UC campus is established in Merced and at least one more campus is added.