Hahn Finishes First in Special Election


Janice Hahn


Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn won a spot in the July 12 runoff in the 36th Congressional District special election, while Republican Craig Huey was 206 votes ahead of Secretary of State Debra Bowen for the second spot.

Hahn, a Democrat, had 24.80 percent of the vote in the 16-candidate field in Tuesday’s special election, 13,137 votes, with all 261 precincts counted, according to semiofficial figures released by the Los Angeles County Department of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

Huey, a businessman, was second with 21.87 percent, 11,648 votes, while Bowen, a Democrat, had 11.442, 21.48 percent. No other candidate had 10 percent of the vote in the race to succeed Jane Harman, who resigned Feb. 28 to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Under new election rules, if no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters will go into a runoff, regardless of party.

The field consisted of five Democrats, six Republicans, a Libertarian, one Peace and Freedom candidate, and three candidates with no party affiliation.

One of the Republican candidates, Mike Gin, described by LA Weekly as “Redondo Beach’s Chinese American, Rotarian, gay mayor,” was in fifth place.

An estimated 9,811 remain to be counted — 8,416 vote-by-mail ballots, 1,269 provisional ballots and 126 damaged ballots, according to Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, who said that the count is scheduled to be completed Friday.

“We are confident Debra Bowen will be in the runoff,” said her campaign manager, Dan Chavez.

The predominantly Democratic district includes Marina del Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, El Segundo and portions of West Los Angeles.

During the campaign, Hahn sent out a mailer that touted her endorsements from prominent Asian American Democrats.

“Having served in local office for 10 years, Janice Hahn truly grasps the issues facing the people of the 36th Congressional District,” State Sen. Ted Lieu, a former assemblyman and Torrance city councilman, said in a statement. “I have worked with Janice on many issues and she has proven to be a fighter for the people she represents. I know she will continue to fight for us in Washington.”

George Nakano, a former Torrance city councilman and former assemblyman, said, “Janice Hahn understands that job creation is our top priority. Her plan to establish a job creation tax credit, provide emergency loans to small businesses, and expand investment in clean-energy technologies will jump-start our local economy and bring good paying jobs back to the South Bay.”

“Janice Hahn understands that our high-tech economy depends on a good education for our kids,” stated Assemblymember Warren Furutani, a former member of the Los Angeles Board of Education and the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. “She’ll fight to make sure Washington invests in education so we stop teacher layoffs or additional cuts to neighborhood schools.”

James Lau, former assisant executive director of the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and former candidate in the 53rd Assembly District, said that he and his wife Sandra are supporting Hahn “because she cares about issues important to families. She has the best experience to improve our educational system, clean our air, and create jobs. We can count on Janice Hahn to deliver results for our next generation.”

Hahn’s supporters also include Lomita City Councilman Don Suminaga, Torrance Board of Education Trustee Albert Muratsuchi, and West Basin Municipal Water District board member Carol Kwan.

Bowen also has high-profile backers in the Asian American community: Rep. Judy Chu of Monterey Park, Assemblymember Mariko Yamada of Davis, Assemblymember Paul Fong of Cupertino, and State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee.

“You know with Debra Bowen in this seat, you will have someone who will stand up to Wall Street,” said Chu. “You know that she understands our coastline is a national treasure and she will do as much as she can to defend it. You know that she understands the value of education, and that we have to concentrate like a laser to make sure we get jobs in this district. And you know as Republicans attack a woman’s right to chose, Debra will be there to stand up for us.”

UPDATE (May 20): Bowen conceded defeat on Friday, saying that the updated vote totals showed “I will not be in the runoff.” She congratulated Hahn and Huey, and said she would not endorse either candidate.



  1. James Lau is the former Assistant Executive Director of the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, which is very different than what is stated above.

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