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Rep. Henry Waxman retirement leaves lasting legacy and huge opportunity for a successor

by AirTalk®

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House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) makes opening remarks about a resolution to hold U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in contempt on Capitol Hill July 16, 2008 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The veteran Democrat made the surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he won't be seeking another term in Congress. Rep. Waxman, 74, has spent four decades on Capitol Hill and his departure will leave a huge void in California's political power.

The district represented by Waxman spans from Malibu, through western Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills and is a big-money spot for both Democratic and Republican donors.

There is no clear successor waiting in the wings to take over the influential spot in Congress so the race to fill his seat is wide open.

Waxman was one of the most prominent liberals in Congress. What will his legacy be? Who is in a prime spot to replace him? What sort of candidate would best serve the district?


Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Congresswoman representing the 46th district spanning Santa Ana, Anaheim, and parts of Garden Grove and Orange in Orange County.

Rep Karen Bass, Congresswoman representing the 37th district, including Baldwin Hills, Miracle Mile, Pico-Robertson, Century City, Cheviot Hills, West Los Angeles, and Mar Vista. 

Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor representing the Third District.

Bill Rosendahl, former Westside Councilman. He represented the 11th district from 2005 to 2013.

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