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Kamala Harris endorses Wendy Greuel in race for Waxman's House seat

Same-Sex Marriage

This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris on Thursday endorsed former Los Angeles  Controller Wendy Greuel for the U.S. House seat being vacated by longtime  Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills).

"I've known Wendy for a very long time," Harris said in a telephone interview. "I know her to be someone who will represent California in a very important way."

Harris is the latest officeholder to back Greuel, like Harris a Democrat, since she got into the race less than a week ago. Others include former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, several past and present members of the L.A. City Council, where Greuel served before being elected controller, and U.S. Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles) and Tony Cardenas (D-Panorama City).

Waxman's surprise announcement last week that he would retire at the end of his current term set off a scramble in the strongly Democratic 33rd District.

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) was the second Democrat to jump in and he accompanied his announcement with a list of more than 25 endorsers. 

They include two Los Angeles councilmen, Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz, who represent parts of the Westside, a key part of the 33rd District, which sprawls from Beverly Hills and Malibu down the coast to Torrance and the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Several other Democrats are considering making the race. 

Two independent candidates, bestselling author Marianne Williamson and television producer-director Brent Roske, already were in the race. 

Bill Bloomfield, a Manhattan Beach businessman who spent some $7.5 million of his own money to challenge Waxman in 2012, has said he is considering running again. A former Republican, Bloomfield switched his registration to "no party preference" some time ago and has been active in No Labels, a group that works to reduce partisanship in Congress.

Harris described Greuel as a "fighter and a doer" who would champion such issues as reproductive freedom, voting protections and marriage equality.

[For the record, 6:20 p.m. Feb. 17: An earlier version of this post stated that Sen. Ted Lieu was the first Democrat to jump into the race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman; Lieu was the second. Former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greul was the first.] 

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl

 

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