Hahn-Richardson congressional primary just the first round
With just two candidates on the primary ballot for a newly drawn Los Angeles County congressional seat, the only real question that Tuesday's voting would settle was how wide a margin separated Democratic Reps. Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson as they head into the November general election.
With about half of the precincts reporting, Hahn, of San Pedro, was besting Richardson, who recently moved into the district from Long Beach, by 20 points.
The 44th Congressional District, which stretches northeast from San Pedro to Lynwood and South Gate, is strongly Democratic. It was created, under the federal Voting Rights Act, to help ensure the election of an African American, including Richardson. But the independent citizens commission that redrew the state's political maps last year put the home of Hahn, who is white, into the district and she decided to seek reelection there.
Hahn, who served on the L.A. City Council, won a special election to Congress just last year. Richardson won her congressional seat in a hard-fought special election in 2007. She was dogged by investigations into her personal finances while she was in the state Assembly and now faces a House Ethics Committee investigation into whether she illegally used her congressional staff members to perform campaign work.
The largely blue-collar minority district -- Latinos make up the biggest group -- also includes Carson and Compton and features one of the few races in the state in which the November field was set even before the primary.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: Rep. Janice Hahn greets a supporter during an election party at the Ports O'Call restaurant Tuesday in San Pedro. Credit: Bret Hartman / For The Times