Congressional Race Interests Margolin : Politics: The Westside assemblyman’s campaign committee has collected $80,000 so far this year.


If his fund-raising efforts are any indication, Westside Assemblyman Burt Margolin is preparing to run for a seat in Congress next year.

In the first six months of 1991, the West Los Angeles Democrat collected $80,000 in donations to a congressional campaign committee, according to a campaign report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Margolin, 40, said he has formed the exploratory committee “to look into the possibility of running for Congress next year.” He said the probable candidacy of Rep. Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica) for the U.S. Senate creates the opening for him to consider a congressional campaign.


He added that he is “interested in running for a seat that would have a reasonable hope of electing a Democrat.”

Margolin is a prominent member of the Westside’s Waxman-Berman political organization, named for Democratic Reps. Henry A. Waxman and Howard L. Berman. A former aide to both men, Margolin first won his Assembly seat in 1982. His district encompasses portions of Hollywood, Los Feliz and the Fairfax community.

Other Democrats who have been mentioned in political circles as potential candidates for the seat Levine may give up are state Sen. Herschel Rosenthal (D-Los Angeles), Assemblyman Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) and Los Angeles City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky.

Margolin, who serves as chairman of the Assembly Finance and Insurance Committee, said his decision to move up to Congress will hinge on the outcome of the current redrawing of congressional boundaries. The Legislature is scheduled to complete its version of a reapportionment plan and send it to Gov. Pete Wilson by Sept. 13.

Margolin said he will wait to make up his mind about his political future until after Wilson signs the redistricting bill into law.