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Redondo Beach mayor joins crowded race to succeed Rep. Jane Harman

Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin has become the second Republican elected official to join the already-crowded field to replace Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice) in a yet-to-be-called special election.

Announcing his candidacy in a news release Tuesday, Gin said he has helped deliver a balanced budget -- and sometimes even a budget surplus -- every year since 1995, when he was first elected to the Redondo Beach City Council.

"I remain a tight-fisted fiscal administrator who believes in controlling spending and reducing our deficit in conjunction with creating good jobs in a new economy,"  said Gin, who is serving his second four-year term as elected mayor.

Although the governor has not yet set the date for a special election to replace Harman, who resigned to lead a Washington think tank, several other candidates already are campaigning.  They include two prominent Democratic officeholders, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn. Teacher and anti-war activist Marcy Winograd, who won 41% of the vote against Harman in last June's primary, some lesser-known Democrats and Redondo Beach's elected city attorney, Mike Webb, a Republican, also have announced they're running.

Regional politics watchers see Bowen and Hahn as front-runners in the strongly Democratic district.  But Gin said he sees an opportunity for himself to appeal to independent voters and various "demographic and geographic voting groups, plus Republicans."

"As an engineer who worked in the aerospace industry, a Chinese American, pro-choice Republican and an elected official who was born in the district, I represent the depth and diversity" of the district, said Gin, who also is openly gay.

He released a list of local elected officials in the largely coastal 36th Congressional District who have endorsed him.  

-- Jean Merl

 
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