California Rep. Hahn won't run in 2016, will seek local post

AP News
Posted: Feb 18, 2015 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — California Rep. Janice Hahn became the first Democrat in the new Congress to announce she won't seek re-election next year, citing frustration with Washington's partisan gridlock and saying she would seek local office in Los Angeles.

In a statement Wednesday, Hahn said she would run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which directs social, justice and transportation programs for the county's 10 million residents. Her late father, Kenneth Hahn, served on that board for four decades.

"Washington is broken, it's increasingly mired in political gridlock, and there's virtually zero cooperation between the two parties," Hahn said. "That's not the kind of government I grew up with, and it's precisely why I know I can do more for the Los Angeles region on the board of supervisors."

While Democrats dominate the five-member Los Angeles board, they have scant prospects for capturing a House majority soon.

Republicans have a 245-188 House edge, with two vacancies in what were GOP-held seats. Democrats would need to gain 30 seats to take House control in the 2016 elections, a longshot.

Serving on the county board could give Hahn more local exposure than serving in Congress. That might help her if Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks higher office and should Hahn seek that post.

Hahn, 62, has served in the House since 2011, when she won a special election to replace fellow Democrat Jane Harman, who retired.

The Democratic primary for the open county board seat is in June 2016, with the general election following that November. Hahn said she would serve the rest of her term in Congress.

Two other House members have announced they will not seek re-election next year: Reps. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., and Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.