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California Governor: Key Stories

California's Gov. Davis Vows To End 'Politics Of Division'
January 5, 1999
A new era in California politics began as Gray Davis, a veteran state official known for being more bland than bold, took the oath to be governor and became the first Democrat in 16 years to hold the nationally influential office.

Democrats' Sweep in California Could Have Lasting Impact
November 5, 1998
For the first time since the late 1950s, the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general of California will all be Democrats, as will both U.S. senators and both majorities in the state legislature.

Davis, Boxer Win in California, Key State for Democrats
November 4, 1998
Democrat Gray Davis, who campaigned as the candidate who best represents the mainstream in the nation's largest and most diverse state, won big over Dan Lungren in the California gubernatorial race.

A Golden State for Democrats
October 30, 1998
With Democratic Lt. Gov. Gray Davis holding a strong lead over Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren, the GOP faces the prospect of losing the governor's office here for the first time in 16 years. The outcome will have significant implications for which party controls the congressional delegation in the next decade, because the next governor will have a powerful voice in how House district lines are redrawn after the 2000 census.

Attack Ads Carpet TV; High Road Swept Away
October 20, 1998
America is again being carpet-bombed by political ads, many of them fiercely negative, and these are some of the politicians taking – and inflicting – the hits. The themes vary from race to race, from education and the environment to health care and gun control, but many of the commercials oversimplify and distort the opponent's position.

In Calif., Republican Lungren Is Running in Place
October 18, 1998
In his bid to become governor of California, state attorney general Dan Lungren (R) is running out of time and voters. Lungren is chasing Lt. Gov. Gray Davis (D) for the biggest prize in this year's midterm elections. But his campaign has struggled to gain an advantage over Davis. Republicans know that a losing effort by Lungren could spoil what they expect will be an otherwise victorious evening nationally Nov. 3.

California Races: Reversal of Fortunes
October 8, 1998
As the 1998 campaign enters its final month, the story here in the largest state in the nation is one of a reversal of fortunes, one Democrat strong, another struggling for survival.

Calif. GOP Nominee's Character Campaign
September 7, 1998
In California, Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Lungren began running new television ads in which he makes an issue of "character" and gets in a dig at the White House, and by extension, his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Gray Davis.

Moderate Calif. GOP Thriving in New Open Primaries
August 9, 1998
Because of the open primary, used this year for the first time, mainstream Republicans have won nomination in state legislative districts long dominated by the GOP's conservative wing.

Two Californians Fight for the Middle
August 2, 1998
The California governor's race got off to its earliest start ever as Democratic Lt. Gov. Gray Davis and Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren sparred in their first debate Friday night over who truly represents the mainstream of the nation's most populous state.

Calif. Gov.'s Race Heads Into Great Divide
July 7, 1998
California voters, having weathered one of the most negative gubernatorial primary campaigns in the history of the state this spring, have this to look forward to in the general election: more of the same.

Experience Beats Money in Calif. Primary
June 4, 1998
Politicians have spent much of the 1990s running away from their résumés to avoid the wrath of the angry voter. But if California is any guide at the mid-point of this midterm election year, the bias against politicians has begun to fade and government experience may actually be an asset.

Calif. Nominees Reflect Their 2 Parties
June 4, 1998
California voters will be offered the clearest of choices this fall when they select the next governor of the nation's most populous and powerful state: Republican Dan Lungren and Democrat Gray Davis are near-perfect representations of their parties and positions.

Lt. Governor Wins Primary in California
June 3, 1998
Dismissed by opponents in his own party as a bland and cautious career politician, Lt. Gov. Gray Davis captured the Democratic nomination for California governor today after being far outspent by his multimillionaire rivals. Davis will now face Republican Attorney General Dan Lungren in November.

Contentment May Shape Calif. Primary
June 1, 1998
For months the airwaves in California have been filled with millionaires spending their money to sell themselves or their positions on high-profile propositions about bilingual education and union dues for politics.

In California Race, It's Ads Infinitum
May 29, 1998
In the last days of the California governor's primary race, the airwaves of the state's major media markets are being saturated with an unprecedented barrage of political advertisements – hundreds a day, thousands a week – that is breaking all records for money spent and time bought.

In Sign of Latino Clout, Calif. Debate Is Broadcast Also in Spanish
May 24, 1998
The four major candidates for governor of California participated today in an unprecedented debate conducted in English and Spanish, and broadcast live across the state – a sign of the soaring importance of Latinos in the state's politics.

In California's 'Virtual' Race, Purse May Decide Primary
May 21, 1998
Democrat Gray Davis's campaign slogan in the race for governor here is "Experience Money Can't Buy" – his best defense against his multimillionaire rivals, Al Checchi and Jane Harman.

Calif. Budget Surplus Expected to Prompt Debate
May 15, 1998
Gov. Pete Wilson (R) announced that because of an "unprecedented" tax bonanza from the surging economy, California will have a budget surplus of more than $4.4 billion next year, paving the way for legislative battles over what to do with the windfall.

Calif. Gubernatorial Contenders Debate
May 14, 1998
After spending record amounts of money waging war over the airwaves, the four candidates for governor finally came together today for 90 free minutes of old-fashioned politicking, mixing policy prescriptions with personal insults.

GOP's Lungren Joins Spending Spree in California Governor's Race
April 22, 1998
Although virtually unopposed for the Republican nomination, attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren has jumped headlong into the state's lavish campaign spending spree by launching television advertisements before the June 2 open primary.

San Francisco's Political Potboiler
April 17, 1998
In most cities, a Superior Court judge's order to local law enforcement officials to shut down an illegal marijuana cultivators' club would seem to be enough to get the job done. But not necessarily so in freewheeling San Francisco.

Candidates, Cash, California
April 9, 1998
With two millionaires running for California governor and another two running in statewide elections, unprecedented amounts of cash are pouring forth to purchase television time for spots designed to introduce viewer-voters to unknown but rich candidates.

In Calif. Primary, It's TV Time
March 23, 1998
Traditions die hard in politics. So 1,400 Democratic activists huddled in the darkened ballrooms and bars of a downtown hotel here this sunny weekend with the stated purpose of gearing up for a blockbuster gubernatorial campaign.

Pothole Awaits Calif. Attorney General in Drive for Governor
March 6, 1998
State Attorney General Dan Lungren, the front-running Republican candidate for California governor, has a marijuana problem. Actually, two marijuana problems.

Democratic Rep. Harman to Run for Governor in California
February 5, 1998
Rep. Jane Harman, a moderate Democrat with enough cash to finance what will be one of the most expensive campaigns in the nation, yesterday declared her candidacy for governor of California.

California's Harman to Seek Governor's Mansion
February 4, 1998
California Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., made a last-minute decision to run for governor, complicating the state's gubernatorial election and leaving her House seat vulnerable to a Republican takeover.

Panetta Will Not Run for Calif. Governor
February 3, 1998
Former White House chief of staff Leon E. Panetta yesterday announced he will not run for governor of California, but two other candidates, both with the cash to finance a bid, are considering last-minute entry into the contest.

Feinstein Won't Run for Calif. Governor
January 21, 1998
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the front-runner among California gubernatorial hopefuls this year, ruled out a race for the Democratic nomination, saying she did not want to run in a "very debilitating campaign environment."

California's Battle of the Bankbooks
December 21, 1997
For all their differences, Al Checchi, the Democratic gubernatorial aspirant, and Darrell Issa, the Republican Senate hopeful, have much in common. Both have amassed fortunes while still in their forties and have the brimming self-assurance that comes from living the American dream. Checchi's grandparents came over from Italy; Issa is a Lebanese American Cleveland high school dropout. Both became Californians only a decade ago and both are ready to use millions of their own money – and little or nothing from others – to win high office. – Column

A Splash in California?
October 19, 1997
Al Checchi, sleek and trim and brimming with ideas, fresh from a run and radiating the nimbus of confidence characteristic of those nimble at the rough-and-tumble of the high-stakes dealings of great corporations, has in mind his next management challenge. He wants to prepare California for the projected addition of 18 million people – think of pumping New York's population into the largest state – in the next 25 years.– Opinion

On Shaky Ground in California
October 1, 1997
Looking ahead to what is by almost any reckoning the most important election on the horizon – the choice of a new governor for California in 1998 – Republican operatives who flocked here for last weekend's state GOP convention face a classic good news-bad news situation.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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