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Former Rep. Steven Kuykendall takes a pass on congressional race

March 6, 2011 |  4:36 pm

It may seem that everyone and her sister is getting into the soon-to-be-called special election to replace Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).  But the man who once held the 36th Congressional District seat -- moderate Republican Steven T. Kuykendall -- said he's decided not to run this time.

Kuykendall, who served on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and in the state Assembly before narrowly defeating Janice Hahn, now an L.A. councilwoman, for the congressional seat in 1998, said it would be tough for a Republican to win the district, which has been redrawn to strongly favor Democrats since Harman defeated Kuykendall in another close race in 2000. And the fact that boundaries will be redrawn for all legislative and congressional districts this summer adds yet another element of uncertainty, Kuykendall said.

"You could win only to find the seat will be gone" (at least as far as Republicans are concerned) once the districts are remade, Kuykendall said.  

At least five Democrats -- including Hahn, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and anti-war activist Marcy Winograd -- have already joined the race, and two Republicans -- Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin and Redondo Beach City Atty. Mike Webb -- have announced their candidacies.

The governor has a week to set a date for the special election to replace Harman, who resigned on Feb. 28 to lead a Washington think tank.

-- Jean Merl