News West Edition

Janice Hahn to run for county supervisor

LOS ANGELES — Democratic U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, who was first elected to the House of Representatives  in 2011, announced Wednesday she will forgo another congressional bid and run instead for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next year, saying she can do more here than in the nation’s gridlocked capital.

“My father, beloved County Supervisor Kenny Hahn, always stressed to me the importance of being a champion for the people,” she said in a statement, adding that her late father instilled in her “the simple principle of always putting constituents and local neighborhoods first.

“With that philosophy in mind, I have decided not to run for re-election to Congress and instead enter the race for Los Angeles County Supervisor District 4.”

Hahn said that “Washington is broken” and “increasingly mired in political gridlock, and there’s virtually zero cooperation between the two parties,” which is “precisely why I know I can do more for the Los Angeles region on the Board of Supervisors.’

The 62-year-old Hahn said she was able to work across the aisle on some issues in Congress, including protecting the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the county board — which oversees a wide range of health, social, public safety, recreational and public works programs — offers greater opportunities to bring change.

Hahn’s announcement appeared to position her as an early leading contender to replace Supervisor Don Knabe, who will be termed out of office in 2016.

The county’s 4th District includes Hahn’s San Pedro base as well as South Bay beach cities, Marina del Rey, Artesia, Long Beach, Torrance, Norwalk and Whittier, among other cities.

Although the board is officially nonpartisan, the district has long been represented by moderate Republicans, including Knabe, who has held the seat since 1996, The Los Angeles Times reported.

But in recent years, the district has grown increasingly multiethnic and Democratic.

Hahn served on the Los Angeles City Council before running for Congress.

Her father had a legendary tenure on the Board of Supervisors. And her brother, James, served as Los Angeles mayor, city attorney and city controller. He is now an L.A. County Superior Court judge.

Others who have signaled interest in running for Knabe’s seat include Republican Mike Gin, a former mayor of Redondo Beach, Steve Napolitano, a senior deputy to Knabe and a former Manhattan Beach city councilman; and state Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Montebello.

Hahn’s announcement brought a quick response from state Sen. Isadore Hall, D-Compton, who immediately announced he would seek Hahn’s 44th Congressional District seat next year.

A former Compton school board member and state assemblyman, Hall was only elected to the state Senate in December.