SEN. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts will face a campaign battle with Republican talk-show host and political neophyte Janet Jeghelian - the latest in a long line of contenders stepping up for Senate races next year.
Ms. Jeghelian, who announced her candidacy Tuesday, served six years as a town selectwoman in the 1970s and has hosted talk shows on Boston radio stations. Pro-abortion rights and moderate on social issues, she is a fiscal conservative and supports government downsizing and term limits.
Although political analysts say Senator Kennedy will be tough to beat, state GOP officials boast a list of other eager contenders.
Jeghelian admits she has a ``medium-to-long shot'' of winning against the legendary Bay State politician. Yet Kennedy still appears worried, particularly about how he fares with women voters. Last month, he hosted all five Democratic women US senators at a $100-per-person Boston fund-raiser.
The former talk-show host says she will not make an issue out of the senator's personal life - although she adds that gender will be an important election theme. ``For far too long women have been kept out of the [political] process,'' she says.
In other key 1994 Senate races:
r Arizona: Secretary of State Dick Mahoney is the leading Democratic contender for the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Dennis DeConcini (D). Rep. John Kyl is the top GOP challenger.
r Michigan: Political operative Spencer Abraham is the leading GOP contender to replace retiring Sen. Don Riegle (D). Prosecutor Carl Marlinga and state Sen. Lana Pollack are seeking Democratic nomination; former Gov. James Blanchard may jump in too.
r Montana: Sen. Conrad Burns (R) will face a challenge from Democrat John Melcher, whom he unseated in 1988.
r Nebraska: Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) will face a challenge from Janet Stoney, a Republican business executive.
r Ohio: Three Republicans - Lt. Gov. Michael DeWine, Dr. Bernadine Healey, and state Sen. Eugene Watts - are vying for the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D). Mr. Metzenbaum's son-in-law, Joel Hyatt, and county Commissioner Mary Boyle are seeking the Democratic nomination.
r Pennsylvania: Rep. Rick Santorum, funeral home owner Bob Monahan, and abortion-rights advocate Barbara Hafer are expected to seek the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Harris Wofford (D).
r Tennessee: Lawyer-actor Fred Thompson is the leading GOP candidate and Rep. Jim Cooper is the leading Democrat for the seat currently held by Sen. Harlan Mathews (D).
r Virginia: Sen. Charles Robb (D) faces Gov. Doug Wilder (D) in the primary. The GOP candidates are: Lt. Col. (ret.) Oliver North, ex-budget director James Miller III, and former prosecutor Jay Stephens. Gen. (ret.) Colin Powell, the most popular man in America according to opinion polls, is a possible wild card.
r Wyoming: The race to replace Sen. Malcom Wallop (R) may pit Democratic Gov. Mike Sullivan against either Dick or Lynn Cheney, both GOP heavyweights, or controversial former Interior Secretary James Watt.