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LA Times Endorses Janice Hahn in California Special Election

The Los Angeles Times endorsed Democrat Janice Hahn in the 16-candidate May 17 special election for California’s 36th district.

The Los Angeles city councilwoman, who is running to replace former Rep. Jane Harman, who retired in February, comes from a well-known political family and entered the race as the frontrunner in the coastal, Los Angeles County district.

“As a councilwoman, Hahn has been an energetic and passionate advocate for her district. She’s effective and well liked by her often-fractious colleagues,” the Times wrote Monday. “Even Hahn’s critics acknowledge her passion for the communities she serves and for the issues she champions. Charismatic and tough, she is a stalwart environmentalist … an ardent advocate for the poor … and a forceful fighter for jobs.”

Hahn has received endorsements from the largest labor unions in the state and most of the area’s Members of Congress.

The Times called Hahn’s top competitor, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, “another capable elected official, also with deep roots in the district and with nearly identical politics as Hahn” and said she would ably represent her constituents in Congress.

“Both are mainstream Democrats who supported healthcare reform and who, if elected to Congress, could be counted on to support same-sex marriage and to humanely revamp the nation’s immigration laws,” the Times wrote.

If no candidate receives more than 50 percent in next month’s all-party primary, the top two finishers will advance to a July 12 runoff. The district’s Democratic lean is strong enough that neither national party has spent any money on the race.