Californians Vote to Ban Recognition of Gay Marriages
By Ben White
The ballot measure, Proposition 22, declares that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California." With 41 percent of precincts reporting, 63 percent of Californians had voted in favor of the measure, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Wm. J. "Pete" Knight, while 37 percent opposed it.
Voters in California also passed measures to expand legalized gambling on Indian land and stiffen juvenile justice laws and rejected a measure to reform the state's campaign finance system.
Senate campaigns in Ohio and California were mostly low-wattage affairs, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Republican Rep. Tom Campbell won the nod of their parties, and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) cruised to renomination. Real estate broker Ted Celeste, brother of former governor Richard Celeste, won the Democratic Senate primary in Ohio.
The real congressional action in both states yesterday came at the House level.
In Ohio, state Rep. Pat Tiberi defeated state Sen. Gene Watts for the GOP nomination in the district of retiring House Budget Committee Chairman John R. Kasich (R). Tiberi had Kasich's backing as well as that of the state party, while Watts had high name recognition in the Columbus area district.
Columbus City Council member Maryellen O'Shaughnessy easily won the Democratic nomination for Kasich's seat. The November contest will be among a handful that will determine party control of the 107th Congress; Democrats could win back the House with a swing of just six seats.
In another contested House primary in Ohio, Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. beat back a challenge in his Youngstown district. Traficant is facing a grand jury investigation into corruption.
Also in Ohio, former representative Mary Rose Oakar, driven from Congress in 1992 by the House Bank scandal, won the Democratic nomination for a state House seat in Cleveland, where she will run unopposed in the fall.
California also featured some important House contests, as state Assemblyman Mike Honda, the favored candidate of Democrats in Washington, held a wide lead over multimillionaire Bill Peacock for the nomination in the district being left open by Campbell, with nearly half of precincts reporting.
Nine-term Rep. Matthew G. Martinez (D) lost to state Sen. Hilda Solis, who could not seek another term in the state legislature because of term limits. Solis was endorsed by the state Democratic Party.
Ten Republicans battled to succeed retiring Rep. Ron Packard in his coastal Southern California district, with the victor virtually assured of winning this fall. The GOP field included car alarm magnate Darrell Issa, who spent $10 million on a failed Senate bid in 1998 and held a narrow lead over state Sen. Bill Morrow. Mark Dornan, son of former California representative Robert K. Dornan, trailed.
Also in California, convicted felon and former representative Jay Kim's
attempt to mount a comeback in a different district fell short, as he lost to two-time GOP
nominee Elia Pirozzi for the right to take on freshman Democrat Joe Baca in the state's
42nd District this fall.
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