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    State of Play

    Alaska: GOP Drops Endorsement at 11th Hour

    State Capital Strategies
    Friday, Oct. 30, 1998

    The Alaska GOP has shut the door on Republican John Lindauer's gubernatorial bid. The 87-member committee used a phone survey Oct. 24 to withdraw its endorsement. Less than one week before the general election, the party has thrown its support behind a new candidate: conservative state Sen. Robin Taylor (R), who Lindauer defeated in the three-way Aug. 25 primary. Lindauer insisted he has no plans to withdraw from the race and blamed his problems with the party establishment on sour grapes from his primary opponents.

    More State Political News From:
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    California: Both Parties Run Spanish Language Ads


    Both of California's gubernatorial candidates have launched Spanish-language advertisements – a first in the state – signaling the growing importance of Latino voters, the fastest growing voter bloc in the state.

    Recent polls targeting Latino voters showed significantly more support for Lt. Gov. Gray Davis (D) than Attorney General Dan Lungren (R). Lungren is reportedly getting little Latino support because of three ballot proposals backed by Gov. Pete Wilson (R), which included measures to end state services for illegal immigrants, limit bilingual education and phase out affirmative action programs. Surveys also said health care is more important to Latinos than to other voters; 83 percent cited health care as a major issue – about 20 percent more than the broader population.

    Georgia: Legislators May Lose Power to Determine Pay


    A proposed state constitutional amendment could end the Georgia General Assembly's authority to set salaries for most elected officials. Amendment 5 would give the salary authority to the Georgia Citizens Commission on Compensation of Public Officials. Proponents say the amendment will take the politics out of setting officeholders' compensation. The amendment would cover not only state cabinet and legislative posts, but also the Public Service Commission, State Pardons and Paroles Board members, Superior Court judges and district attorneys.

    Michigan: Fieger Campaign In Deep Trouble


    Recent polls show Gov. John Engler (R) leading his opponent, attorney Geoffrey Fieger (D) by 30 percent. One of Engler's priorities, however, is keeping his margin wide enough to help Republicans in races down the ballot. The GOP hopes to not only retain its state Senate majority (now 22-15 with one vacancy), but also to capture the House. Democrats control the House with 58 seats; Republicans hold 52. A GOP majority would virtually guarantee that Engler's agenda would be implemented, which news reports say includes cutting the state income tax, expanding charter schools, and requiring welfare recipients to submit to drug testing.

    Nevada: GOP Headed Toward Landslide Year


    With the exception of the attorney general's race, the GOP appears likely to capture every state-level race this year. Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, is keeping pace with Republican Kenny Guinn in the polls, but sources said Guinn is leading. His most recent fund-raising pitch focused on the GOP's efforts to win the state Assembly, saying he will need a Republican-controlled Assembly to effectively pursue his agenda. The GOP currently controls the state Senate, and sources said Democrats look likely to retain control of the Assembly.

    Tennessee: Democratic Governor Candidate Tosses In Towel


    Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Jay Hooker publicly conceded that he will not defeat Republican Gov. Don Sundquist, but he maintained a light campaign schedule to push his view that campaign contributions are corrupt. Hooker told reporters he would consider endorsing a state lottery to generate revenue to support political campaigns, abolish the sales tax on food or pay for college scholarships.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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