House Democrat Ponders L.A. County Supervisor Bid (Updated)
Updated 5:14 p.m. | Rep. Janice Hahn, a two-term Democrat from Los Angeles, is mulling a run for a seat on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2016, a move that would prohibit her from running for re-election in California’s 44th District.
Hahn declined to comment on her re-election plans to CQ Roll Call on Wednesday. But a Hahn consultant said the congresswoman is pondering a run in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“In recent months, Rep. Hahn has received a tremendous outpouring of support and words of encouragement to run for L.A. County Supervisor from leaders across L.A. County,” Hahn adviser David Jacobson said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “She plans to make public her 2016 intentions sometime in the near future.”
Jacobson gave the same statement to The Los Angeles Times, which also reported on Hahn’s potential move Wednesday.
The supervisor role will be open in 2016 thanks to term limits preventing Republican Supervisor Don Knabe from running for re-election. The role is arguably more powerful than a spot in Congress, as it oversees one of the largest counties in California. Other supervisors on the board include former Rep. Hilda Solis, who left Congress in 2009 to serve as labor secretary in President Barack Obama’s administration.
Hahn was first elected to Congress in a 2011 special election, when Democratic Rep. Jane Harman resigned to take a job at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a D.C.-based think tank. In 2012, Hahn faced a member-vs.-member race following the decennial redistricting process, defeating the embattled Laura Richardson by a wide margin .
Hahn comes from a well-known political family in Los Angeles County. She is the daughter of Kenneth Hahn, who served on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for 40 years, from 1952 until 1992. Her brother, James Hahn, served as mayor of Los Angeles from 2001 to 2005. And her uncle, Gordon Hahn, was a state assemblyman and Los Angeles city councilman in the 1960s.
Hahn would be the second California House Democrat in the last two years to give up a safe Democratic seat to instead run for a county supervisor role.
Last cycle, former Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod vacated the nearby 35th District to run for a spot on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. She lost the race in November to Republican state Assemblyman Curt Hagman.
President Barack Obama carried the 44th District by a 71-point margin in 2012, making it one of the strongest Democratic districts in the country.
Democrats say state Sen. Isadore Hall III will look to run for Hahn’s congressional seat if she decides on a bid for supervisor.
Hall entered the race for the newly drawn 44th District in 2012, but dropped out of what would have been a three-way race before the primary. He’d start the race as the favorite if he decided on a bid, according to multiple Democratic operatives.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino is also a potential contender for the seat, according to a source close to him. Buscaino represents the city council seat Hahn held for a decade before ascending to Congress. Buscaino attended the State of the Union address with Hahn this past January.
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