Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Crowded field to replace Democrat Henry Waxman in Congress

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L.A.'s Westside is one of the most densely populated communities in Southern California. And the race to replace that area's Congressman, Democrat Henry Waxman, is just as crowded: more than two dozen candidates have filed papers to run for Congress.

It's a rare opportunity – the first open seat for the district in a generation. Waxman has served in Congress since 1974.

Related: Rep. Henry Waxman announces retirement from Congress (Updated)

According to the LA County Registrar/Recorder, most of the candidates (14 of 25) are Democrats in a district that is 44 percent registered Democrats. There are five Republicans (the district is 39 percent registered GOP), one candidate each from the Libertarian and Green Party, and four who declined to state a party (28 percent of voters are neither Democrats nor Republicans).

Ballots in the district will be long as they will list every name. California allows anyone from any party to vote for any candidate in the June 3rd primary, with the top two finishers facing off in November.

Related: View a list of candidates for Southern California congressional seats

The field includes some veteran politicos:

  • Democratic State Senator Ted Lieu.
  • Former LA City Controller Wendy Greuel (also a Democrat).
  • Mark Matthew Herd, a Libertarian who serves on his neighborhood council.

There are also several media veterans:

  • Public radio host Matt Miller, a Democrat.
  • Brent Roske, an independent and the producer of the online series "Chasing the Hill" about running for Congress.
  • Former child actor Vince Flaherty, a Democrat who produced the movie "A Gun, A Car, A Blonde," starring Billy Bob Thornton and John Ritter.
  • There's even an actor, Patrick Kilpatrick, a Republican whose IMDb bio describes him as "one of the finest" screen villains" of his generation," appearing in "Minority Report" and "Last Man Standing."

There are several attorneys:

  • Tom Fox, an independent.
  • Lili Gilani, a Republican who describes herself as a "Harvard lawyer."
  • Elan Carr, a Republican a "criminal gang prosecutor."
  • Defense attorney David Kanuth, a Democrat.
  • "Educational equality advocate" Zein E. Obagi, Jr., a Democrat.
  • Human rights attorney Barbara Mulvaney, a Democrat who spent three years prosecuting the mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal.

Other candidates include:

  • "Sports executive" Michael Shapiro, a Democrat.
  •  "Environmental technician" Michael Ian Sachs of the Green Party. 
  • "Environmental health advocate" Kevin Mottus, a Republican.
  • Social worker Kristie Holmes, a Democrat.
  • Property manager Charles Edward Lincoln III, an independent.
  • Businessman James Graf, a Democrat. 
  • New age speaker and writer Marianne Williamson, an independent who describes herself as a "Women's Advocate/Entrepreneur."

Some candidates declined to describe themselves in registration papers: 

  • Shelly Tobias, a Democrat.
  • Karl Siganporia, a Democrat who actually lives in Northern California (you don't have to live in a district to run there as a member of Congress).
  • Derrick Ferree, a Democrat.
  •  Christopher David, a Republican.
  • Robert Baker, a Democrat.

This district not only includes Beverly Hills and Topanga Canyon, it also stretches along the coastline from Rancho Palos Verdes north of Malibu. Given the very large field, voters in California's 33rd Congressional District can expect their mailboxes to be stuffed with campaign mailers over the next few weeks.

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