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Former rival, women's groups backing Janice Hahn for Congress

May 27, 2011 |  9:00 pm

At least one former rival and some high-profile women's groups are backing Democrat Janice Hahn, who is competing against Republican Craig Huey in a July 12 runoff to succeed former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice).

Antiwar activist and teacher Marcy Winograd, a Democrat and one of 16 candidates on the ballot in the May 17 special primary in which Hahn and Huey finished first and second, respectively, on Friday attacked the businessman as a "tea party darling." 

Winograd said in a statement released by the Hahn campaign that "we need to work to defeat the right-wing extremist agenda and elect Janice Hahn to Congress."

Also Friday, the National Women's Political Caucus and Patricia Bellasalma, president of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women, endorsed Hahn, a Los Angeles city councilwoman.  A day earlier, Emily's List, which raises money for Democratic female candidates who favor abortion rights, announced its support for Hahn.

Lulu Flores, president of the women's political caucus, called Hahn a fighter known "for caring about the people she represents -- especially women." Bellasalma called Huey, who opposes abortion, "out of touch and too extreme for California."

Huey strategists believe his message to cut government spending and grow jobs will appeal to voters in the strongly Democratic 36th Congressional District.  

-- Jean Merl