Janice Hahn wins 44th Congressional District
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With all voter precincts reporting, Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn beat fellow Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson in a newly drawn district that runs north from the Port of Los Angeles through several working-class, strongly minority communities, preliminary election returns show.
Hahn, elected to Congress a little more than a year ago in a special election, saw her largely coastal turf carved up in last year’s remapping, and her San Pedro home ended up in the new 44th District. Richardson, a five-year veteran of the House, moved into the district from Long Beach to challenge Hahn.
Hahn bested Richardson by 20 points in the June primary. She won by the same margin in Tuesday’s election, election results show. Richardson, who had won tough races before, predicted that a bigger fall turnout would help close the gap.
Richardson was reprimanded and fined after a House Ethics Committee investigation concluded she had improperly pressured members of her congressional staff to do campaign work. She had trouble raising money and had substantial turnover in her congressional staff and campaign leadership. Race was a factor in the contest. African American leaders believed it could be won by a black candidate, such as Richardson. Some were shocked when Hahn, who is white, ran against her rather than the more senior Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who got much of Hahn’s turf in the redistricting.
Richardson is one of four black House members from California. Some African American leaders supported her, not wanting to see the number drop. Hahn, whose father was deeply admired among the area’s black residents, drew support from others who said she would do a better job.
-- Jean Merl