Experts Expound

Experts Expound

“With Secretary of State Debra Bowen officially in the race to face L.A. City Councilmember Janice Hahn for the 36th Congressional District, the contest promises to be a real stem-winder. Any thoughts?”

Hahn has a stronger local organization and a meaningful head start. On the other hand, she’s a lightweight’s lightweight. Both have resources and shoot-first consultants so, regardless of outcome, it should be a heck of a show.

Two thoughts: First, who is going to run for secretary of state, when and how can we get a Republican into that office; and secondly; do we really like people who quit their offices ala Sarah Palin?

Never mind the congressional race, the more interesting scenario pops up if Bowen wins. How many Democrats can dance on the head of a pin with the secretary of state’s office suddenly vacant? And do new top-two primary rules give a Republican any chance to sneak into statewide office? Tricky.

Alyson Huber should replace Debra Bowen as secretary of state.

It remains to be seen whether Bowen can get it together. Hahn has already sucked a lot of air out of the room with high-profile endorsements – Feinstein, Villaraigosa, Perez. Also, Bowen only raised a little over $600,000 to run for reelection statewide last year, a pathetic total that wouldn’t even qualify as adequate in a competitive state Senate race. And that was at the $6,500 downballot limit (vs. the congressional $2,500 limit) and without the federal ban on soft dollars. Hahn raised over $1 million in the lieutenant governor’s race at the same limit, even though she had never run statewide before and didn’t make it through the primary. Where is Bowen’s fundraising base?

So much for Hahn’s attempt to scare off Bowen with endorsements. Labor’s ground troops will make the difference, which is good news for Bowen.

Bowen served the area for years in the Legislature, but Hahn has got a stronger local persona. The interesting thing about this race is that we’ve got two top women contenders, two good candidates, squaring off, and no matter who wins, a good contender will lose. In that sense it is similar to the Gary Hart-Charles Imbrecht fight of a few years ago.

Behind the smiles and courtesies are two ambitious, tough-minded women with iron fists under velvet gloves. But Hahn may have an advantage in a short campaign because her base of labor union allies can be turned out more effectively than Bowen’s base of mostly trial lawyers, who write big checks but dont walk precincts or man phone banks.

I think Hahn wins due to family history in the region.  Whoever wins will lead to ripple effects in the Democrat party as other Dems look to fill the vacancies.

Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger

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