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California Senate: The Candidates

Barbara Boxer (D) | Matt Fong (R)

Primary Contender:
Darrell Issa

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), incumbent
First elected in 1992 with less than 50 percent of the vote, Boxer is consistently one of the most liberal voting members of the Senate, opposing the ban on so-called partial birth abortions and the Defense of Marriage Act. In 1972, Boxer, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., left journalism for politics with a bid for the Marin County Board of Supervisors. She lost that race, but was elected to the board in 1976. Elected to the U.S. House in 1982, she adamantly opposed the Persian Gulf War and supported Anita Hill.
Campaign Web site

Matt Fong (R)
The highest ranking Asian-American Republican holding elected office in the nation, Fong is nearing the end of his first four-year term as state treasurer. He is generally considered a centrist, and only recently began to touch on race issues. He supports abortion rights in the first trimester. Flying in the face of his party affiliation, Fong has denounced Congress' campaign finance investigations, saying they have had a generally racist overtone. In April 1997, Fong returned a $100,000 donation from a questionable Indonesian businessman. Many observers call Fong the GOP front-runner.
Campaign Web site

Primary Contender
Darrell Issa (R)
A wealthy businessman from the San Diego community of Vista, he began running a $2 million radio advertising campaign attacking Boxer in July 1997. Clearly the most conservative candidate in the race, Issa is a political newcomer. He is not, however, new to the system; he has contributed heavily to GOP candidates in the last decade.
Campaign Web site

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