Politics

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen plans to run for Congress

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Feb. 15, 2011 that she will run for the seat about to be vacated by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman in Congress.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Feb. 15, 2011 that she will run for the seat about to be vacated by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman in Congress.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

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California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has entered the congressional race to replace South Bay Democrat Jane Harman. Harman’s resigning to run a think tank.

When asked why she’s running for Congress just three months after voters re-elected her as California secretary of state, Debra Bowen echoed other officials who’ve fielded similar questions. “I think I can best be of service to the people of California in this role at this time.”

Bowen, who’s 55 years old, said her years representing the South Bay in the state legislature qualify her to represent it in Congress.

L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor last year, is also competing for Harman’s congressional seat. She’s won the heavyweight endorsement of U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein.

Marcy Winograd’s considering a run, too. She garnered 41 percent of the vote in a run against Harman in the Democratic primary last year.

The district tilts heavily Democratic, and no Republicans have announced their intentions to run.

Congresswoman Harman has agreed to delay her resignation until February 28. That will allow Governor Jerry Brown to consolidate the election into a possible special election to extend a set of tax increases. Governor Brown wants that election to happen in June.