With the polls closed and only the mail-in ballots counted, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn is leading the pack of 16 candidates in the special election to fill California’s 36th Congressional District, the seat vacated by Jane Harman in December 2010. Hahn won 24 percent of the early votes.
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen received the next largest share of early votes, with 21 percent. If no candidate wins an outright majority, the top two candidates will face each other in a runoff on July 12.
Many observers expected these two candidates to lead the pack before the election. Running in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one, Bowen and Hahn, both Democrats, were believed to have better name recognition than the other 14 candidates. They also had raised more money than any of the other Democrats.
Not more than Republican businessman Craig Huey, though. Huey, who won the fund-raising competition thanks in large part to money he loaned to his campaign, got 18 percent of the mailed-in ballots. He was trailed by another Republican, Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin, who took 11 percent of the votes.
Marcy Winograd, a teacher and anti-war activist who ran against Harman in the 2006 and 2010 Democratic primaries, mustered just eight percent of the early votes.
Democratic candidate Daniel Adler, a late entry into the race, managed 92 mailed-in votes, 0.36 percent of the electorate, putting him in the 13th spot among the field of 16 candidates. But the deadline for mailed-in ballots was May 10, before Adler’s name made its way into the blogoshpere, thanks to a series of ads that drew a lot of attention.
Rounding out the field of 16 are the three candidates in the race who declined to state a party preference: Matthew Roozee (whose website touts his Ph.D. in mathematics), Katherine Pilot (who described herself as “an average citizen”) and Michael T. Chamness (who calls himself a “coffee party activist”).
We’ll be updating the results throughout the evening—but for the latest results, check the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder / County Clerk Website.