Candidate Profile from Congressional QuarterlySteve Kuykendall (R) of San Pedro
As a former Marine, Kuykendall gravitates toward national security issues. And that inclination is only heightened by the fact that his daughter flies an F-14 fighter plane for the Navy.
He is very concerned about the quality of the armed forces and the many missions on which they are deployed. "I see it very closely and very personally," he said, a perspective he believes the Clinton administration does not share.
Kuykendall, who served as a captain in the Marine Corps, had intended to make a career out of the military, but was injured and had to retire. A licensed real estate broker, he founded and served as president of Lockheed Mortgage Corp., a subsidiary of Lockheed Corp. He developed an interest in economic issues, particularly trade, which is important to his district.
Kuykendall also has been involved in another issue likely to be hot in the 106th Congress: electricity deregulation. As a freshman assemblyman, he served on the conference committee that wrote the state law now gradually deregulating the industry in California. He would like a seat on the Commerce Committee, which is likely to deal with deregulation next year.
Kuykendall first ran for elected office after serving on a citizen's committee for the local school board. That experience was so frustrating, he says, that he thought, "I can do better than this."
In his freshman year in the California Assembly, Kuykendall was a member of the Republican whip organization. But in Washington, he may not always toe the party line: He is a supporter of abortion rights and has supported some gun control legislation.