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Hahn, Bowen Expected to Move On in California Special Election

Kyle Trygstad/Roll Call
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (above) has the support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other members of California’s delegation in the race to replace former Rep. Jane Harman.

The district, which is loosely bordered to the east and west by Interstate 405 and the Pacific Ocean, runs down the coastline from Venice, past the picturesque beach cities, and inland to Torrance, the largest city in the district. It also reaches to the south to include the bulk of San Pedro, which, along with Venice, resides within the Los Angeles city limits.

Bowen represented 90 percent of the district over 14 years in the state Legislature and last year was elected statewide for a second term as secretary of state. She is backed by national environmental and liberal groups, including the Sierra Club, the California arm of the League of Conservation Voters and Democracy for America.

She raised $168,000 on ActBlue, the online Democratic fundraising site, which was well more than any other candidate in the race. And she raised a total of $340,000 through April 27, the last reporting date before the primary.

“I’m very pleased with how the campaign has gone,” Bowen told Roll Call. It has centered, she said, on “educating voters, reminding voters about my relationship with them.”

Hahn is backed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) and nearly every neighboring House Democrat. She also received the vast majority of labor endorsements, including the California Labor Federation and the California arms of the Service Employees International Union and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Hahn, whose family has a rich history in Los Angeles politics, had raised more than $420,000 through April 27.

“I’m very anxious and not taking anything for granted,” Hahn told Roll Call on Friday. “I’m just going to work very hard to make sure we’re definitely in the runoff.”

Adler, a former vice president at both Walt Disney Imagineering and Creative Artists Agency, caused a stir in the past week with viral Web videos — including a “Rudy” parody with him and Astin — and the news that he was launching TV ads in the expensive LA media market.

He reached out specifically to minority voters who make up more than half the district’s population and who could help him reach the runoff. “The minority voice needs to be heard,” Adler told Roll Call. “I’m really trying to get people to realize that sitting it out doesn’t help anybody.”

While the odds are against Adler, Winograd, Gin and the rest, Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman said the election could still offer some unexpected results.

“Tuesday is going to be an exciting evening,” he said. “Keep your eyes open because surprises will abound.”

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