Newly minted Rep. Janice Hahn faces a tough choice if she wants to stay in Congress for more than a year. By the looks of the latest redistricting maps, she will be drawn into a coastal district that also includes Rep. Henry Waxman.
Waxman has been in Congress for 36 years, and is as close as it gets to an immovable object. So that leaves Hahn with one other option: run for the “Gardena-Compton” seat.
The problem with that is it's supposed to be a “black” seat — and Hahn is not black.
The idea that she would run for the seat — and cut L.A.'s black representation in Congress from three seats to two — is already stirring anger among the black political community.
In an email making the rounds today, activist Basil Kimbrew accuses Hahn of having “disrespected and betrayed the black community.” Kimbrew claims that Hahn told him she will run for the Gardena-Compton seat, which also includes Hahn's home in San Pedro.
Kimbrew goes on to say that African-Americans who worked to elect Hahn in her special election were “duped” and “tricked” — and would have been better off supporting Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Also running for the Gardena-Compton seat are Assemblyman Isadore Hall and Rep. Laura Richardson. Hahn represented Watts on the L.A. City Council and has enjoyed strong support in the black community, in part due to the legacy of her father, Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.
John Shallman, Hahn's political consultant, said Hahn is waiting for the final lines to be drawn before making her decision. For the moment, he said, she's focused on representing her current district.