Politics

Councilwoman Janice Hahn's mother dies

 Former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn (L) jokes with his mother Ramona and his sister Janice Hahn during his election night party May 17, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.
Former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn (L) jokes with his mother Ramona and his sister Janice Hahn during his election night party May 17, 2005 in Los Angeles, California.
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The mother of Councilwoman Janice Hahn and former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn has died. Ramona Hahn's unexpected death at age 86 was confirmed by her daughter's chief of staff, and comes one day before Janice Hahn competes in a runoff election for the 36th District congressional seat.

Janice Hahn's father never got to see her sworn in as a councilmember, and now her mother won't get to see her sworn in as a congresswoman if she wins, says Hahn's chief of staff, Doane Liu.

At every election night victory party, Ramona would stand with her children in their various political races. There was also a family tradition of meeting for dinner at Lawry's The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills before those parties.

Ramona may have best been known as the wife of late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who served for 40 years and was a champion of civil rights. He was the only white politician to meet Martin Luther King, Jr. at the airport when he visited L.A.

Ramona had been involved in Democratic politics since the 1940s.

Janice Hahn and her brother, former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, said in a statement they were devastated by the death of their mother.

Hahn is in a combative U.S. House contest with Republican Craig Huey in the 36th District. She was planning a hectic final day of campaigning Monday, but she abruptly suspended her schedule to join her grieving family.

The unexpected death saddened campaign staffers, who were adjusting the candidate's election-day schedule around time she would need with her family. But they insisted the campaign's long-set plans to get voters to the polls Tuesday would not be slowed.

This story incorporates information from the Associated Press.