CA-36: Jane Harman to Resign from Congress

Harman (left) and Hahn with LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Daily Breeze

Jane Harman has an interesting history.  She was recently re-elected to her ninth term in the 36th Congressional district, with her main challenge being from the left.  However, it looks like we will be having a special there soon:

California Rep. Jane Harman (D) will resign from Congress, according to two senior Democratic leadership aides, a surprise announcement that will set off a special election in her 36th district.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who broke the news of Harman’s resignation, has reported that the California Congresswoman will take over as director of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. That job is currently held by former Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton (D). (WaPo)

She is probably better known around these parts for her rather controversial positions on warrentless wiretapping, the defense budget, and the wars, but she was also active on health care issues, and was an early opponent of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

As for the district, the speculation so far has been on Janice Hahn, who previously ran for the district back in 1998.  She lost to the Republican Steve Kuykendall, but since then the inclusion of Venice and Mar Vista means that it is a pretty strong Democratic seat.  However, it is likely to change in the redistricting for next cycle.

Find her letter to supporters over the flip.

UPDATE: Toss Debra Bowen’s name into the mix.

Dear Friends –

           Earlier today, I filed paperwork notifying the House of Representatives that I am in discussions to succeed former Rep. Lee Hamilton as President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  I send this note because a decision is imminent and I wanted you to hear the news from me first.

This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed – nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress.  But shaping and leading the Wilson Center is a thrilling new challenge.

           I have always believed that the best solutions to tough problems require a bipartisan approach, and bipartisanship is the Center’s “brand.”  Serving at its helm provides unique opportunities to involve the House and Senate, top experts, and world leaders in “great debates” about the most pressing foreign and domestic policy matters.

Should this opportunity come to pass, I would be required to resign my seat.  But please know that I would remain in Congress for some weeks and do everything possible to ensure an orderly transition to whomever is elected to succeed me.  Sidney and I will always retain our residence in Venice, be home frequently, and stay engaged at USC and active in the community.

           You have elected me to nine terms in Congress – an honor without equal.  I hope you understand how truly grateful I am for your friendship and support.


2 thoughts on “CA-36: Jane Harman to Resign from Congress”

  1. She’s run against Harmon twice. And it would be so nice to finally get a strong progressive voice in Congress from that district.

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