Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jane Harman To Resign Weeks Earlier Than Expected, Special Election To Be Held April 12, According To Janice Hahn

The LA Times is reporting tonight that Rep. Jane Harman will be resigning her seat two weeks earlier than expected after conversations with Gov. Jerry Brown regarding the timing of a special election to fill the vacancy.

Retiring Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice) said Thursday that she would resign her House seat Tuesday to allow for a special election to replace her in early June.

Harman, who has been criticized for accepting a job with a Washington think tank so soon after winning reelection in November, said she wants to make the election "as inexpensive and as convenient for voters as possible" by allowing it to be held the same time as a potential statewide election on taxes.

She said she has had two conversations with Gov. Jerry Brown about the timing of her resignation. Once her seat is vacant, Brown can call a special election to be held within a specific time frame. He is hoping to ask voters in June to extend several expiring tax increases to help the state out of its budget deficit.

Also being reported tonight, the special election primary will "likely" be held April 12, according Janice Hahn, the only candidate to formally enter the race so far.

With Harman's resignation set for February 15, Governor Jerry Brown has until March 1st to set a date for a special election to fill Harman's seat. According to California election law, the election must be held between 112 and 126 days after the seat becomes vacant.

June 7th, at 112 days out, is a likely election date for the probable run-off, since it will coincide with the special state-wide initiative election Brown wants to call.

The special election primary will be held under new "open primary" rules. Voters can select any candidate, regardless of party affiliation. If no candidate gets 50% +1, the top two vote-getters will have to run against each other in a June runoff.

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