As predicted, L.A. Councilwoman Janice Hahn picked up the endorsement today of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, a big boost for her congressional campaign.
Hahn is running against Secretary of State Debra Bowen, anti-war activist Marcy Winograd, and three Republicans in the May 17 special primary in the 36th District. The seat opened up when nine-term incumbent Jane Harman retired to take the helm of a D.C. think tank.
The Fed's endorsement is a big deal because they've mastered the process of turning out voters in super-low-turnout special elections. Reps. Laura Richardson and Judy Chu can each thank the Fed for their off-year victories.
Hahn is one of the most pro-labor members of the L.A. City Council, a consistent opponent of layoffs and furloughs for city workers.
“As a councilwoman, Janice Hahn has always been a true fighter on the side of working people, and we know that she will be a champion for labor in Congress,” said Maria Elena Durazo, the Fed's executive secretary treasurer, in a prepared statement. “We know that Janice Hahn will devote herself 100% to creating good paying middle class jobs with benefits.”
The Fed endorsed Bowen in her race for Secretary of State, and you could search her record in vain for an anti-labor vote or position. But as we said last month, Bowen is fundamentally a “wine-track” Democrat. Her base is pro-environment and anti-war. Hahn is a “beer-track” Democrat. Her base is labor, and there are a lot of union voters in the San Pedro area, where Hahn lives.
If there's good news for Bowen here, it's that there are also a lot of wine-track Democrats in the 36th District, especially in the beach cities. The challenge will be getting them to turn out in proportion to the Fed's turnout effort in the district's union strongholds.