San Diego's Republican mayor, Pete Wilson, and California's Democratic governor, Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr., won their parties' nominations tonight for the U.S. Senate as the state's most expensive primary campaign came to a close.
According to early returns and independent surveys of voters leaving polling places, state Attorney General George Deukmejian appeared to hold a narrow lead in the Republican primary for governor over Lt. Gov. Mike Curb.
Curb apparently was hurt by a last-minute controversy over his being classified "medically, mentally or morally unfit" for military service during the Vietnam war.
Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, as expected, was heading for an easy victory in the Democratic primary for governor, and could become the first elected black governor.
A state proposition to bring more water to semi-arid southern California, supported by Bradley and many other state politicians, was being defeated.
With only 5 percent of precincts reporting, Wilson held an 11-point lead over Rep. Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey Jr. and a 12-point lead over Rep. Barry M. Goldwater Jr., Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater's son and front-runner in the Republican Senate primary until the last weeks of the campaign.
All three major Los Angeles television stations declared Wilson the winner on the basis of voting-place exit polls.
In a statement to cheering supporters at the Century Plaza Hotel here, Wilson said Goldwater was "a very nice guy who's the son of a famous father, but that's not enough."
Wilson said he looked forward to a "good fight" against Brown, whom he has been leading in trial heat polls, and said he would make an issue of Brown's erratic record as governor.
Brown held an early 30-point lead over his closest competitors, state Sen. Paul Carpenter and novelist Gore Vidal.
Early returns showed Bradley with a 29-point lead over his nearest competitor, state Senate Majority Leader John Garamendi. These returns showed Curb leading Deukmejian, but pollsters for major television stations here said their surveys indicated that Deukmejian would win.
Reflecting the strong anti-crime mood among state voters, a "victims' bill of rights" cutting back the right to bail, limiting plea-bargaining and requiring restitution by criminals appeared to be winning easily. A bond issue to build new prisons was approved.
Rep. Dave Dreier led Rep. Wayne R. Grisham in a battle of Republican incumbents forced by the Democratic reapportionment plan.
Democrat Tom Hayden appeared to have won nomination to a state assembly seat and, in the 18-candidate race for the GOP nomination in the 43rd Congressional District, millionaire tractor-trailer manufacturer Johnnie D. Crean was ahead.
Although none of the measures on the ballot today generated the controversy or national publicity of Proposition 13, a proposal to spend at least $5 billion on a peripheral canal to divert more fresh water from northern to southern California led to heated and expensive campaigning.
Each side spent more than $1 million, but the opponents seemed to have cut deeply into southern California support for the project, and had taken a 19-point lead in the polls by arguing that the canal would cost too much.
Brown, faced with high negative ratings in the polls because of his failed campaigns for president and his sometimes dizzying shifts on issues, spent much of the campaign raising money for the general election and accusing Reagan of ripping apart the social fabric by favoring the rich over the poor in his tax and budget policies.
San Diego's Wilson, 48, who has been a popular and effective mayor, overtook Goldwater, 43, in the last weeks of the campaign on the strength of solid financial support from several leading businessmen, an endorsement from Reagan's brother, Neil, and a successful effort to bury his image as a "moderate." He took a series of very conservative, pro-Reagan positions on the issues.