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Waxman Seat Battle Quickly Takes Shape

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Two Democrats and one Republican have entered the race for Waxman’s 33rd District seat.

The candidates hail from opposite poles of the district. Lieu lives in Torrance. Greuel lives in Studio City, just outside of the northeast edge. A campaign spokesman said Monday she intends to move a mile or so to reside within the district.

The state Senate district Lieu was first elected to in an early 2011 special includes about 80 percent of the congressional district. Meanwhile, after being elected twice to a city council district in the San Fernando Valley, just north of the 33rd, Greuel won a citywide race for controller and then ran unsuccessfully in a high-profile mayoral race last fall.

“Wendy has one thing that Ted doesn’t have, and that is a lot of name ID,” said Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. “Virtually every voter in this district heard commercials, millions of dollars of commercials, that mentioned Wendy — for better or for worse.”

In a sign of his legislative connections, Lieu received more than 70 percent of the vote of delegates in the Feb. 8 pre-endorsement event, which kicks his potential endorsement to an up-or-down vote at the state party’s gathering next month. If he’s endorsed, it would provide a cue to Democratic voters and a bump for Lieu.

To be sure, other candidates could jump into the race. Candidates have until March 7 to file the necessary federal paperwork to run for the seat.

On Monday, Elan S. Carr, a military veteran, Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and head of Alpha Epsilon Pi — an international Jewish fraternity — became the first Republican to enter the race. Two independents, documentary producer Brent Roske and author Marianne Williamson, announced bids prior to Waxman’s retirement.

The primary, in which the top two vote recipients regardless of party advance to the general election, will take place June 3.

California’s 33rd District is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama carried the district by a 24-point margin in 2012.

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