Debra Bowen and Janice Hahn, Democratic frontrunners in the special election in California’s 36th district, both recently announced new endorsements in their effort to win a seat in Congress.
In her official campaign kickoff Saturday, Bowen announced the endorsement of Rep. Judy Chu (D), who won a Los Angeles-area special election two years ago. Chu’s endorsement came along with state Sens. Fran Pavley and Alan Lowenthal, state Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, and several other local elected Democratic officials.
Until now, Hahn had been the only Democrat to snag any Congressional endorsements. Chu noted that in remarks to supporters, according to the Calitics blog. “I’m so proud to say I was was the very first Congressperson to endorse Debra Bowen for Congress,” she said, citing their longtime friendship.
Bowen is a former state legislator and is serving her second term as California secretary of state. Hahn is a Los Angeles city councilwoman.
Hahn, who had her campaign team in place in early February before then-Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) said she would resign, on Tuesday announced the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
The Hahn campaign called the backing by the 800,000-member organization of local workers the “seal of approval” from the Los Angeles County labor movement.
“This is a monumental endorsement in this race, and I am honored to have this official seal of approval from my friends in labor,” Hahn said in a statement.
Bowen and Hahn are scheduled to take part in a four-candidate forum conducted by phone 9-10:30 p.m. Thursday. Joining them are Democrat Marcy Winograd, an anti-war activist and schoolteacher, and Republican Mike Gin, mayor of Redondo Beach.
Republicans Mike Webb and Kit Bobko declined to participate, according to a press release from the Courage Campaign, which is hosting the forum. It can be streamed live online at the group’s website.
Candidates from both parties are competing in the May 17 special election primary. Unless someone takes more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will advance to the July 12 special general.