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June primary likely to have some hotly contested races

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Posted: Sunday, April 2, 2006 10:00 pm

The June primary election is two months away, but there will be a lot of homework to do before you cast your ballot.

If Republicans think that casting their ballot for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, or if Democrats think that all they have to do is choose between Phil Angelides and Steve Westley, you've got another thing coming.

There are 16 candidates for governor this year - four Republicans, eight Democrats and one each for the American Independent, Green, Libertarian and Peace and Freedom parties.

The June primary will also feature candidates for other statewide offices, Congress, the state Legislature, plus several county offices. Meanwhile, campaigns for City Councils, school districts, fire districts and smaller local districts won't be contested until the November election.

The most hotly contested races in the June primary appears to be for San Joaquin County supervisor, where four candidates are battling for the District 4 seat, which serves the Lodi area., and the 11th Congressional District seat held by Richard Pombo, R-Tracy.

Pombo will be challenged in his own party by former Congressman Pete McCloskey, who recently moved to Lodi from his farm in Rumsey, and Tom Benigno of Tracy. Three Democrats also hope to unseat Pombo.

Jack Sieglock of Lodi is winding down his second and final term on the county Board of Supervisors due to term limits.

Running for Sieglock's seat are Lodi City Councilman John Beckman, Lodi Unified School District Trustee Richard Dean, San Joaquin Delta College Trustee Dan Parises and farmer/educator Ken Vogel of Stockton, a former director of the county Republican Central Committee. Parises, a grape grower, served on the Board of Supervisors from 1971 to 1974.

If any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, he will automatically win the seat. If all four candidates get fewer than 50 percent, the top two vote-getters square off in November.

While San Joaquin County supervisors can serve only two four-year terms, there is no such restriction in Sacramento County, where Galt's Don Nottoli will serve a fourth four-year. He is unopposed this year.

Local residents and representatives are running for higher office as well. State Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno, who represents the Lodi area is running for state attorney general and a possible showdown in November against former Gov. Jerry Brown. Poochigian's Senate seat expires due to term limits.

Locally, Galt City Councilman Tim Raboy is running for the Democratic nomination for the District 2 Board of Equalization seat held by incumbent Republican Bill Leonard.

Raboy is a supervising investigator for the Board of Equalization. He will be opposed by Tom Bright of Sacramento, a printing executive, for the Democratic nomination.

And Acampo's Martin Luther Church, a retired program manager, hopes to wrestle the Democratic nomination held by long-time U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Ten people representing six parties want that Senate seat.

Her are the remainder of the campaigns on the June primary ballot:

San Joaquin County

11th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Incumbent Richard Pombo of Tracy will face off against Republican challengers Pete McCloskey of Lodi, a former congressman on the San Francisco Peninsula, and Tom Benigno of Tracy, a retired business person. Democratic candidates are renewable energy businessman Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton, airline pilot Steve Filson of Danville and union electrician Steve Thomas of Danville. District covers the Lodi area, Tracy, Pleasanton, San Ramon Valley, Morgan Hill and parts of Stockton.

14TH DISTRICT STATE SENATOR: Republican Assemblyman Dave Cogdill Sr., Modesto, and Democrat Wesley Finch of Oakdale, a retired accountant. Both are unopposed in the primary, so they will square off in the November election. District includes Lodi area.

10TH DISTRICT STATE ASSEMBLY: Incumbent Republican Alan Nakanishi of Lodi, Libertarian Janice Bosner of Carmichael, a lawn artist, and Peace and Freedom candidate Albert Troyer, a union contract negotiator, are unopposed in the primary. However, businessman Kevin Tate of Sacramento and parole agent Jim Cook of Elk Grove are competing for the Democratic nomination. District includes Lodi, Woodbridge and Acampo west of Bruella Road.

26th DISTRICT ASSEMBLY: Incumbent Republican Greg Aghazarian of Stockton and Democrat Kenneth J. Goeken of Ceres, a special education teacher, are running unopposed. They will square off in November. District includes Victor, Lockeford, Clements, Morada and Acampo east of Bruella Road.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: John Beckman, Richard Dean, Ken Vogel and Dan Parises seek the District 4 seat held by Jack Sieglock, who cannot run again due to term limits. If any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, he will automatically win the seat. If all four candidates get fewer than 50 percent, the top two vote-getters square off in November.

SHERIFF-CORONER: Dennis Lobenberg of Lockeford, Elbert Holman Jr., of Stockton, sheriff's Capt. John Huber of Stockton, Assistant Sheriff Steve Moore of Linden and sheriff's Capt. Rick Sealey Jr., of Stockton and are competing for the position as the county's top law enforcement officer. Appointee Robert Heidelbach is not running.

Lobenberg is a retired assistant commissioner for the California Highway Patrol, and Holman is a detective with the county District Attorney's Office.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in June, the two top vote-getters will compete in November.

COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS: Fredrick A. "Rick" Wentworth of Manteca is unopposed.

S.J. COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION: David Sorgent of Woodbridge is running for the Area 5 seat.

Sacramento County (Galt)

3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: There will be no primary election because all four candidates are unopposed within their own party. Squaring off in November are incumbent Republican Dan Lungren of Gold River; Democrat Bill Durston of Rancho Cordova, an emergency physician; Libertarian Douglas Arthur "Art" Tuma of Antelope, a retired civil engineer; and Peace and Freedom candidate Michael Roskey of Sacramento, a researcher and union officer.

1st SENATE SEAT: Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, was elected in 2004 and has two years remaining in his term.

15th DISTRICT STATE ASSEMBLY: Incumbent Republican Guy Houston of Livermore and Democrat Terry Coleman of Danville, a consumer attorney, will square off in November. District includes Galt, Thornton, parts of the Delta and East Bay.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: Don Nottoli of Galt is running unopposed for the District 5 seat, which also includes Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Rancho Murieta, Isleton and Walnut Grove.

SHERIFF: Undersheriff John McGuiness will compete against former deputy sheriff Brett Daniels, a former Citrus Heights Mayor and City Councilman. Sheriff Lou Blanas is not seeking re-election.

Several candidates for superior court judge and low-profile offices are running unopposed.

In San Joaquin County, they include Assessor-Recorder Gary Freeman, Auditor-controller Andrian J. Van Houten, District Attorney James Willett and Treasurer-Tax Collector Shabbir Khan and Judges Barbara Kronlund, Richard Vlavianos, Carter P. Holly, Thomas Harrington, Anthony P. Lucaccini, Richard Mallett, Linda Lofthus, David Warner, George Abdallah Jr., and Michael Coughlan.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

First published: Monday, April 3, 2006

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