Gang prosecutor Elan Carr, a Republican, and Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance emerged as the top finishers in the crowded race to succeed U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills).
Another leading candidate, former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel, finished third and on Wednesday morning publicly congratulated Carr and Lieu and wished them both well in the fall election.
With 18 names on the ballot, plus a write-in candidate, the race produced the most crowded field of any contest of Tuesday's primary.
But the crush of candidates that Waxman's surprise retirement announcement produced quickly sorted itself into tiers.
Most observers expected only five or six candidates to be in serious contention for one of the two places on the November ballot. The observers based their assessments on a candidate's political experience, familiarity to voters and access to campaign money.
Throughout most of the campaign the lesser known candidates with small or no war chests struggled to catch voters' attention.
Waxman, an unabashed liberal with a long list of legislative accomplishments, has spent 40 years in Congress representing the Westside; his district later was redrawn to include the South Bay.