Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Congressional race to replace Waxman takes shape with new candidates, endorsements

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The race to replace retiring Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman is shaping up with more candidates — including the first entry by a Republican.

Deputy District Attorney Elan S. Carr announced Monday he is jumping into the race on the GOP side. Carr's campaign website doesn't flag his party preference, though it does state that his mother, father, stepfather and wife are all Democrats.

Carr is a former military officer who still serves in the Army Reserves. He is a leader with Alpha Epsilon Pi, a prominent international Jewish fraternity, which could help Carr with an influential bloc in the Westside district. 

Voter registration in the 33rd Congressional District favors Democrats, but in 2012 former Republican Bill Bloomfield ran as an independent and gave Waxman his most serious challenge in years. Waxman prevailed by a 54-46 percent margin in a district that had been redrawn.

Carr could get into the runoff if the Democratic candidates split their party's votes enough to allow him to finish second in the June primary. A similar scenario happened in 2012 when Republican Congressman Gary Miller was elected in a district where Democrats have the edge among registered voters.  

Bloomfield, who spent $6 million of his own money in 2012, announced Monday he will not enter the race this time around. 

"Running for the 33rd Congressional seat at this time would not be the best use of our time and resources to truly drive meaningful change on critical issues, particularly our passion for public education," Bloomfield said in a statement.

Over the weekend, local Democrats indicated the state party would endorse State Senator Ted Lieu for the congressional seat. A final vote will be taken at the state convention on March 4. "I am honored and humbled to to receive the overwhelming support of local democratic delegates and activists," Lieu said. 

A consultant for the Wendy Greuel campaign dismissed the vote. 

"Yesterday's vote by the party insiders and bosses was a stunning rebuke of the party's rising women stars.  The fix was in from the Sacramento Old Boys Network," said Sean Clegg. 

If that name sounds familiar it's because Clegg was part of the team that last year ran an independent political action committee  in support of Greuel. On the other side, Lieu has hired consultant Bill Carrick to run his campaign. Just a year ago Carrick was running Eric Garcetti's mayoral race against Greuel. 

(Garcetti told NBC 4 this weekend he would remain neutral in the congressional race.)

In addition to Lieu and Greuel, attorney Barbara Mulvaney is also running as a Democrat. 

Spiritual guru Marianne Williamson and producer Brent Roske — who runs the politics-themed web series "Chasing the Hill" — are running for the seat as independents. 


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