Democrat wins California special election
July 13th, 2011
09:04 AM ET
7 years ago

Democrat wins California special election

(CNN) - Democrat Janice Hahn won a special election in California's 36th Congressional District Tuesday to replace former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman, who stepped down earlier this year, according to unofficial results from the California Secretary of State's office.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Los Angeles City Council member Hahn received 54.6 percent of the vote to Republican candidate and businessman Craig Huey's 45.4 percent.

Hahn will replace Harman, who left Congress to become president and director of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in the district that covers much of Los Angeles County's South Bay area.

Having served 18 years in the House, Harman easily won reelection over the past decade in a district then-Sen. Barack Obama won by 30 points over Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in the 2008 presidential election.

With unemployment in the state at 11.7 percent, Republicans thought they might have a chance at winning the district, which includes beach communities and is also home to many aerospace industries.

Huey, the owner of a marketing company, self financed much of his campaign and won support from local tea party activists. The national Tea Party Express group backed the marketing company executive, comparing him to Reagan and urging their members to do the same. Huey repeatedly criticized Hahn as a career politician.

But Hahn received some outside assistance from national Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, who taped a robo-call message to voters in the district, which said Hahn was "the right choice." In her ads, she compared Huey to Sarah Palin and said he would push an "extremist right wing agenda" as a member of Congress.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

Filed under: California • Congress
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Boo Hoo Baynor

    This is just the beginning of the Republican demise.

    July 13, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. Nana Korsah

    Obama will win re-election. Republicans have decided not to work with the President. It is good for him. The Reps look very bad in the eyes of the public.

    July 13, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. Louisiana Man

    Goodness triumphs over evil and deceit. The dirty repubs came crashing down in defeat with thier conniving schemes and juvenile antics.

    And people believe the BS they are spoon fed from this scourge on society-the GOP

    July 13, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. A Kickin` Donkey

    Glad to see they didn`t repeat the INCOMPETENCE of the Massachusetts Democrats in the Kennedy-succesor election.

    Turnout was lower than in`08 which made this Cali race tighter as the Republican party tried to steal one. In 2012, with the President leading the way, Hahn wins in a no-brainer.

    July 13, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Ken in NC

    People are not stupid. They elected Republicans in 2010 that ran on the claim of jobs, jobs, jobs only to see them come into office and start cracking on women and their bodies. They spent much of their time trying to get rid of SS and Medicare and trying to undo every bill passed under the Obama Administration. Well even many Republicans didn't like the direction they took and many of them don't like what Republicans are doing now with the debt. Republicans have taken themselves out of contention in 2012.

    July 13, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. realist

    Wisconsin, You have become our hero in the "Fight" to save America!! Hard working Americans are behind you all the way! Police,Firemen,Teachers,Food Inspectors ,and our Brave Soldiers, The very people who keep America Safe!!!!!! We are behind you, "Make us Proud" Vote out this terrible regime thats trying to take away your Protection! Bless you all!!!

    July 13, 2011 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. sara

    I guess America is past race and is coming to their senses and will not be made "scared" by the boogman republican con jobs.

    July 13, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  8. Expat American

    The realization that the Tea Party is nothing more than pointless hot air has begun to take hold. By ’12, they should all return back to their holes in the ground like the racist brainless cicadas that they are.

    July 13, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Chris

    This is the continuing of the Dems winning back the 2010 debackal of the Rebubs. It started with the Dems winning the NY 26th district and is continuing with the WI recall election.

    July 13, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  10. John

    Get Use To It Republican because this Is going to happen a lot In 2012. American people are feed up with you protecting the RICH AND BIG BUSINESS and Put it all on the working class of America. We are all so feed up with these Pledge to SPECIAL GROUP OF PEOPLE when you all ready took a OATH AND SWEAR TO IT for all American people. By you Republican signing this pledge you broke the OATH YOU TOOK WHEN YOU TOOK OFFICE. And this Is that since you broke the OATH YOU SWEAR TO WHEN TAKING OFFICE , The American people want every Republican that sign any Pledge to any GROUP OF PEOPLE should RESIGN. What You Republican are doing now is not In the Best Interest of America or for the American people. Quit Protecting the Rich and BIG BUSINESS and get a deal done. the President plan don't even rise them until 2013 ,you have to Compromise because you Republican are losing vote every day this go on. You Republican trying to put all the blame on President Obama Isn't working he trying to Compromise and you Republican are NOT.

    July 13, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Another Democratic sweep since the 2010 elections. I wonder if Republicans have figured out how to read their own tea leaves yet. I wonder if they realize that the rhetoric they have been spinning in 2011 in not only a turnoff to *most Americans*, but their vision is out of touch with what America really wants in its' national, state, and local leaders.

    July 13, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Thom

    . . . and more to come as voters see through republicans' lies and deception.

    July 13, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. FM

    Well done Californians. Good that you did not let the rest of us down. Keep on staying strong and come next year (2012) we will hold on the way we did 2008. BRAVO! you made the rest of us happy and we all have now BIG HEADS!

    July 13, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, given that the GOP hasn't really offered more than the traditional "cut taxes and regulation" previously offered, why would this district send a Republican to the House?

    July 13, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. John/kc

    Preview of much to come. Republicans have so killed themselves wanting to eliminate Medicare!

    July 13, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. rs

    California Dreamin'- Another Republican pipe dream goes Bust......

    July 13, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The people of California are smart and are turning back those Republicans who try to buy elections, Huey's money didn't work.

    July 13, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. SuperD

    Ahh.....California.....they're broke, but they keep electing Democrats thinking something will change.......wonderful

    July 13, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. Joan

    If the Republican had won this seat, the media would be all over it saying it is a repudiation of the Democrat's policies. Well, the Democrat won so perhaps it really is a repudiation of the Tea Party principles who backed this chap in the election.

    July 13, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |