Jane Harman, whose resignation from Congress became official Monday, was courting a candidate to replace her two weeks before announcing she was leaving Capitol Hill. She won’t officially endorse, but it’s clear she prefers Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the woman she refers to as her little sister.
As the world watched President Barack Obama deliver his State of the Union address Jan. 25, Hahn was Harman’s guest in the House chamber.
Hahn told Roll Call during an interview at a local sushi restaurant that Harman had asked her that week about her future political plans and whether she would ever be interested in running for Harman’s 36th district seat.
“I said, ‘Of course it would be wonderful to be in Congress, but you’re not going anywhere.’ And so she just nodded,” Hahn said between sips of hot tea. “Then that early 7 a.m. call came two weeks later, and she said, ‘I’m resigning and I want you to run for my seat.’ And I had my website up by noon.”
In the three weeks since Harman announced her resignation and Hahn announced her candidacy, the soon to be former congresswoman has allegedly worked the phones overtime, helping to secure a number of high profile congressional endorsements for her protege, including the endorsement of Senator Diane Feinstein.
Hahn's endorsements did not deter Debra Bowen from announcing a week later. Polls put the two Democratic opponents neck and neck, and a runoff election seems likely.
While Hahn continues to pursue endorsements from politcos throughout Southern California, Bowen had chosen a different route, characterizing her campaign as "people powered" and asking for grassroots "endorsements" from ordinary citizens.