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Southern California congressional races feature familiar faces

October 19, 2011 | 12:54 pm

Former Republican Rep. Steven T. Kuykendall, who is seeking to return to Congress from the newly drawn, Long Beach-based 47th District, has landed the endorsement of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley.

Kuykendall won a South Bay congressional district in 1998, only to be defeated for reelection two years later by Democrat Jane Harman, who had previously stepped aside in an unsuccessful campaign for governor. Harman, a Democrat from Venice, resigned early this year and was succeeded by Janice Hahn (D-San Pedro), who had lost a 1998 congressional race to Kuykendall in one of the closest House contests in the nation that year.  

Kuykendall likely will find competition in next year's election from a fellow Republican, Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong, and from state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

Hahn, whose current South Bay district was decimated in the redrawing of political boundaries earlier this year, is seeking reelection in the new 44th District, which runs from the Harbor Area to South Gate.  She recently added two more labor groups, the Transportation Communications Union and Iron Workers Local 433, to her endorsements list.  Also seeking the seat are Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) and Assemblyman Isadore Hall (D-Compton).

Former San Diego Councilman Scott Peters, a self-described "common-sense Democrat," this week announced he was joining the contest to represent the newly drawn 52nd Congressional District. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad) is seeking reelection here. Others who have announced their candidacies are former Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, a Democrat, and Republican tea party activist John Stahl.

In the newly drawn 41st Congressional District in Riverside County, teacher and community college district board member Mark Takano, a Democrat, took an early lead in fundraising over the only other declared candidate in the race, county Supervisor John Tavaglione, a Republican. During the three-month period ending Sept. 30, Takano raised more than $160,000 to Tavaglione's just over $53,000. Takano unsuccessfuly challenged Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) twice in the 1990s.

— Jean Merl

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