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Harman to Resign From Congress

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Updated: 11:40 a.m.

Rep. Jane Harman will vacate her Congressional seat to lead the Woodrow Wilson Center, according to a Congressional source.

The California Democrat, expected to make a formal announcement on Tuesday, will succeed former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) at the foreign policy think tank. Harman served as the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee from 2003 to 2006 and has carved out a specialty in national security during her time in Congress.

MSNBC first reported the news of Harman’s resignation Monday morning.

Harman has represented the southern California 36th district for the past decade. She ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nod for governor in 1998.

To replace Harman, the state will hold its first Congressional election under its new top-two primary rules, when the top vote-getters from an all-party primary advance. However, under special election rules, a candidate can win the seat by taking at least 50 percent of the vote in the primary.

“It’s going to be a free for all for that seat,” said Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.

The special election to replace Harman could be held on the second Tuesday in June, coinciding with a date being considered for a statewide vote on tax propositions.

Harman represents the Los Angeles coast, including Venice, Manhattan and Redondo beaches. Her district has been reliably Democratic for the last decade, with Harman never winning less than 60 percent of the vote.

President Barack Obama won 64 percent there in 2008, and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won with 59 percent in 2004.

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