Don Knabe

Janice Hahn for the Board of Supervisors

Janice Hahn for the Board of Supervisors

The race to succeed Don Knabe on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has given voters little reason for enthusiasm; none of the original three candidates seemed likely to be either a disastrous failure or a visionary leader.

The Times endorsed Rep. Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro) in the June primary in part because she was better than the others at articulating the needs of the homeless, the addicted, the jailed, the ill, the poor and others for whom county government provides the safety net and, ideally, a ladder into a better life. Yet now that the race is down to Hahn and Knabe aide Steve Napolitano, mustering enthusiasm remains difficult.

By all accounts, Napolitano...