Debra Bowen Jumps Into California Special Election

Posted February 15, 2011 at 1:40pm

Updated: 4:06 p.m.

With two words, “I’m in,” California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Tuesday that she is running in the 36th district special election.  

Her entrance sets up a high-profile Democratic primary against Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn to fill the seat of outgoing Rep. Jane Harman (D), whose resignation becomes official Tuesday. (Update: Later Tuesday afternoon Harman’s office told Roll Call she will delay her official resignation until Feb. 28, the date she is scheduled to begin her new job as head of the Woodrow Wilson Center.)

A source close to Bowen said her Congressional exploratory committee polled the matchup with Hahn, and the results were “good but competitive.”  

“This was not an easy decision,” Bowen said in a statement. “I spent the past week discussing a potential run with my family and close friends, and thinking how I can best serve the public.”  

Bowen represented about 90 percent of the area that makes up the 36th district during 14 years in the state Legislature. She is serving her second term as secretary of state after being re-elected in November. The primary will be held eight weeks prior to the special election, which is rumored to scheduled for early June.