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Congressional candidates line up backers in already hot races

September 27, 2011 | 11:19 am

Candidates in some of what already are shaping up to be next year’s hottest congressional races are  adding to their endorsements lists at a brisk pace.

In a looming three-way contest among Democrats for the newly drawn 44th District in the Harbor Area and southeast Los Angeles County, Rep. Janice Hahn  continued to add to her list of labor support, announcing recently that Operating Engineers Local 12 has endorsed her. Hahn’s San Pedro home was included in the new district during last summer’s redistricting; she currently represents the largely coastal, South Bay-based 36th Congressional District, a seat she won in a special election in July.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall, (D-Compton) also plans to seek the seat and his campaign recently announced endorsements from a slew of local elected officials from the district’s heavily Latino communities, including some in Lynwood and South Gate.

“The Latino base is very, very important in this election and … Mr. Hall has always been a supporter of our community,” Lynwood Mayor Aide Castro said in a statement issued by the Hall campaign.

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) also has said she plans to run here.

In another potentially hot contest, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) added Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to his growing list of prominent backers. The redistricting has put Royce into the same three-county slot, the newly redrawn 39th District, as Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar), and the nonpartisan California Target Book, which handicaps congressional and legislative races, labels the contest a “possible brutal primary battle.”

And, speaking of brutal primaries, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) has endorsed Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas for a new seat in the northeast San Fernando Valley that was drawn to favor the election of a Latino, a reflection of that group’s growing presence in the area. The new 29th District was taken from a substantial chunk of Berman’s current district, and now he is headed for an already widely watched clash with Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) in the newly drawn 30th District.

Farther south, in Imperial and San Diego counties, former state Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny has announced she’s hoping to replace Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista), who plans to run for mayor of San Diego. State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) also is expected to run for the newly drawn 51st Congressional District seat, prompting another “possible brutal primary battle” label from the Target Book folks.

-- Jean Merl

 

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