Matt Miller, the host of KCRW's politics show “Left, Right, and Center,” announced this afternoon that he is running for the Congressional seat vacated by the retirement of Henry Waxman.

Miller, a centrist Democrat and a former White House budget official during the Clinton administration, said he would use his campaign to talk about “big challenges,” such as the spiraling cost of health care, climate change and the shortage of well-paying jobs.

“Getting serious about these challenges means embracing bold ideas – the kind of fresh thinking we aren't likely to get from career politicians,” Miller said.
Miller will face stiff competition from two veterans of local politics, former Controller Wendy Greuel and state Sen. Ted Lieu. They each announced their candidacies immediately after Waxman's retirement and have already been fundraising and racking up endorsements.

Lieu recently won the Democratic Party pre-endorsement conference, which puts him in position to win the official party endorsement at the convention in March. Greuel, meanwhile, recently won endorsements from Attorney General Kamala Harris and L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson. Also in the race are Elan Carr, a Republican prosecutor, and Marianne Williamson, the author of spiritual wellness books.

Miller, who lives in Pacific Palisades, is a Washington Post columnist and the author of two books on public policy, The Two Percent Solution and The Tyranny of Dead Ideas. He also works as a communications consultant to corporations and foundations.

His columns should provide fodder for opponents, should the need arise. In a column in 2011, for instance, he set out a platform for a hypothetical third-party presidential candidate: “I want to raise your taxes, cut spending on programs you like, and force you to rethink how we run our schools, banks, armies, hospitals and elections.”

Miller occupies the “center” position on “Left, Right, and Center.” He announced his candidacy at the close of today's broadcast, saying he will take a leave as host to focus on the campaign.

He is not the first “Left, Right, and Center” panelist to run for office. Arianna Huffington, who appeared on the show for many years, ran for California governor as an independent during the 2003 recall. Robert Scheer, the show's representative of the left, ran for U.S. Senate in 1970.

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