Isadore Hall quits congressional race, avoiding split of black vote
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Saying “the Democratic Party needs unity,” Assemblyman Isadore Hall, one of three Democrats positioning themselves to run for a newly drawn congressional seat in southeast Los Angeles County, announced this week that he will instead seek reelection to the Legislature’s lower chamber next year.
The Compton lawmaker’s departure from the congressional race leaves a two-way contest between Reps. Janice Hahn of San Pedro and Laura Richardson of Long Beach.
His pivot to an Assembly race also heads off a battle between two African American lawmakers, himself and Richardson, for a seat that was drawn over the summer by an independent redistricting commission to encourage the election of a black. Hahn, who is white, said she would seek reelection here because her home is in the new district, the 44th, and because the district includes most of the area she represented on the Los Angeles City Council before winning a special election to Congress in July.
The district runs north from the L.A. harbor area to South Gate and is heavily Latino. No member of that group so far has announced an intention to run.
The redistricting placed Hall within the same political boundaries as Assemblyman Warren Furutani (D-Gardena), who is running next month for the City Council seat Hahn gave up after winning the special election to replace retired Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).
Noting that he had already announced his run for Congress before the redistricting commission drew its final maps, and before he knew Hahn and Richardson would be running there, Hall said it was “never my intention to engage in an expensive intra-party war.”
Hall won elections to the Compton school board and city council before joining the Assembly in 2008.
In a statement announcing his change of plans, Hall said Democrats “need to stand together and stand up to those who threaten our values.”
-- Jean Merl