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Field guide to departing lawmakers -- and possible successors

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Henry A. Waxman’s surprise announcement that he’s leaving Congress means that four longtime California lawmakers are retiring from the House of Representatives. Two are Democrats, two Republicans. Combined, they served more than 100 years in the House. Here are quick looks at who they are and who might replace them:

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

HENRY A. WAXMAN

Age: 74

City: Los Angeles

First elected: 1974

Party: Democratic

Known for: Liberal but pragmatic, with an extensive record of legislative victories, often involving the environment, consumer protection and healthcare. Spearheaded revisions of Clean Air Act, creating stronger standards to control smog and other pollutants. Shepherded the Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA power to regulate tobacco. Strong advocate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

33rd District: Heavily Democratic. Stretches along coast from Malibu to Palos Verdes Peninsula, taking in Bel-Air, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. About 62% of residents have bachelor’s degree or higher. Voted for President Obama in 2012. Population is 75.5% white, 12.4% Latino, 3.3% black. Median household income: $89,354.

Would-be successors: Expect a crowded and expensive contest. Former Los Angeles city controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel declared her candidacy Thursday, the day Waxman announced his retirement. State Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance jumped in Friday. Other Democratic contenders: Fran Pavley of Agoura Hills and Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, Secretary of State Debra Brown and radio show host Matt Miller. Many more are possible.

Quote: “At the end of this year, I would have been in Congress for 40 years. If there is a time for me to move on to another chapter in my life, I think this is the time to do it.”


Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

JOHN CAMPBELL 

Age: 59

City: Irvine

First elected: 2005

Party: Republican

Known for: Frequent critic of big spending. Attacked earmarks, even those proposed by fellow Republicans. Before Congress, served in California Assembly and state Senate.

45th District: Heavily Republican. Encompasses parts of central and south Orange County, including Irvine and parts of Anaheim, Orange and Mission Viejo. Voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Fifty percent of residents have bachelor’s degree or higher. Population is 66.9% white, 21% Asian, 18.7% Latino, 1.4% black. Median household income: $89,383.

Would-be successors: Three-way race features state Sen. Mimi Walters of Irvine, Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach and Greg Raths, a Marine veteran and former assistant chief of staff for the White House Military Office.

Quote: “At the end of this term, I will have spent 14 years serving in full-time elected politics. I am not nor did I ever intend to be a career politician. I am ready to begin a new chapter in my life.”


J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

GEORGE MILLER

Age: 68

City: Martinez

First elected: 1974

Party: Democratic

Known for: One of the most liberal voting records in the House. Closely aligned with Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco. Focused on health and education issues. Strong advocate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

11th District: Located in East Bay across from San Francisco, includes most of Contra Costa County. Solidly Democratic. Voted for President Obama in 2012. Forty-one percent of population has college degree or higher. Population is 65% white, 25.3% Latino, 9.2% black. Median household income: $69,586.

Would-be successors: A crowded race is likely. Miller endorsed state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) to succeed him.

Quote: “It’s a sense of accomplishment,” he said of his House tenure. “When I ran in 1974, I said I was going to try to do two things: I was going to try to stop the Vietnam War and do national healthcare reform.”


J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

HOWARD "BUCK" MCKEON

Age: 75

City: Santa Clarita

First elected: 1992

Party: Republican

Known for: Conservative voting record. Focused on higher education and military issues. Most recently served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Strong advocate for the many defense contractors in the district. Teamed up with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2009 on legislation to designate thousands of acres in the Eastern Sierra and San Gabriel Mountains as wilderness.

25th District: Centered on Santa Clarita, stretching west to Simi Valley and east to Palmdale. Suburban and conservative. About 25% have bachelor’s degree or higher. Voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Population is 63.7% white, 37.9% Latino and 7.7% black. Median household income: $68,551.

Would-be successors: McKeon has endorsed former state Sen. Tony Strickland as his replacement. State Sen. Stephen Knight of Palmdale is another Republican contender. Several Democrats — including Lee Rogers, a podiatrist who ran against McKeon in 2012 — have signaled interest in running.

Quote: “I never planned on being here until they carried me out.”

Sources: Times reporting, Almanac of American Politics.

[For the record, 6:17 p.m. Feb. 2: An earlier version of this post said Camarillo Assemblyman Jeff Gorell also was running for the McKeon seat. Actually, he is seeking a nearby seat held by Julia Brownley.]

 


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