The hereditary queen of Samoa, Laulauga Malana Au Faoa Taupou O Tufele, Galeaii Tuimanua, is about to lose an election. But not in Samoa.
In a race rife with charges of carpetbagging, the self-proclaimed queen, a real estate broker also known as Elizabeth Davis, is one of 18 candidates for the Republican nomination in California's 43rd Congressional District.
Rep. Clair W. Burgener is retiring from his House seat for the district, which includes northern San Diego and southern Orange counties and, with 51 percent of its voters reistered Republicans, is the most Republican in the state. In 1980, Burgener won reelection with 87 percent of the vote against Democrat Tom Metzger. His slightly more than 299,000 votes were the most ever received by a House candidate. The Democrats had nominated Metzger without realizing he belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, and promptly repudiated him.
Under new reapportionment, the district has an even higher percentage of Republicans.
Almost everybody in this race calls everyone else a carpetbagger. The only two front-runners who seem immune from that charge are Carlsbad Mayor Ron Packard, 51, a longtime district resident who is a dentist, and Jim Rady, the president of a savings and loan who sits on the Escondido City Council and has Burgener's endorsement.
Another leading candidate is Deborah Szekely, the 60-year-old owner of the famous Golden Door spa in Escondido and Rancho La Puerta, another resort in Mexico. Szekeley's campaign boasts television commercials featuring Charlton Heston and radio commercials Szekely says William F. Buckley Jr. narrated without being asked "because he just thinks I'm great."
But her opponents charge that she doesn't live in the district. Although the Golden Door is within the district, she has lived for many years in the city of San Diego, which in not.
Also charged with carpetbagging is Bill McColl, an orthopedic surgeon who was an All-America end at Stanford and starred for the Chicago Bears. McColl has run for Congress twice--in Los Angeles County--and lost. His opponents say that he moved from Los Angeles to Leucadia, a small beach community in San Diego County, only to find himself still out of the newly drawn district. So he moved again.
Yet another target of carpetbagging charges is Johnnie R. Crean, a 33-year-old millionaire who moved to San Juan Capistrano from Los Angeles last February. Crean, who is without governmental and political experience, owns a company that manufactures truck trailers.
His father owns Fleetwood Enterprises, the country's largest manufacturer of mobile homes. Crean has spent $522,000, much of it on television commercials starring Buddy Ebsen.
Crean's opponents say he is an unqualified candidate trying to buy the election. Crean says they are just upset because, of all the candidates, he is the "most successful in the free enterprise system. I've acheived in nine years what they haven't been able to accomplish in 30 or 40 years." Crean is running because of "a strong desire on my part to help President Reagan turn the country around."
Often described as the most qualified candidate is Stan Le Gro, a 45-year-old lawyer who served as the Environmental Protection Agency's assistant administrator for enforcment during the Ford administration.
Although it is hard to predict a winner in this crowded a race, two candidates are often predicted losers. One is Lawrene Nixon Anfinson of San Clemente, the 38-year-old niece of former president Richard M. Nixon. The other is Mary Schmitz, whose husband, John, is a state senator well known for his often voiced, negative opinions on Jews and women.