California Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D) surprise retirement announcement last week undoubtedly caught the Golden State’s Democratic establishment by surprise, but the local pols have quickly regained their bearings.
Two political heavyweights jumped into the race in the past three days, and it is possible that this could be the duo who qualifies for advancement to the general election. Los Angeles city controller and defeated mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel (D) and state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) have both officially entered the congressional race. Feminist Sandra Fluke (D), who came to prominence when Rush Limbaugh attacked her on his national radio program, says she isn’t entering the congressional campaign, but will run for Lieu’s now open state Senate seat.
Already members of the Los Angeles congressional delegation are taking sides, as is former mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40) announced her support for Greuel, while Rep. Karen Bass (R-CA-37) will back Sen. Lieu. The former LA mayor is endorsing Greuel.
Though people are already beginning to take sides, others, such as Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D) and Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D), could still become candidates. The Republicans are not likely to be competitive in this LA County coastal district. Therefore, two Democrats advancing to the general election under California’s jungle primary law that allows the top two finishers in the June qualifying election, regardless of political party affiliation, to advance to the general election is a likelihood.