Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: July 2011, 2nd full term.

Born: March 30, 1952, Los Angeles

Home: Los Angeles

Education: Abilene Christian U., B.S. 1974

Professional Career: Teacher, Good News Academy, 1974-78; Public affairs regional manager, Southern CA Edison Co., 1995-2000.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Family: divorced , 3 children

Democrat Janice Hahn won an acrimonious July 2011 special election to take the seat of retiring Rep. Jane Harman, and less than two years later, was pitted against incumbent Rep. Laura Richardson in the newly redrawn 44th District. She won by ousting Richardson, a fellow Democrat. Hahn announced in February 2015 that she would run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2016. “With so much brinkmanship in Washington, I am confident that I can get more done for our region back here at home, serving in local government,” she said.

Hahn’s electoral successes can be attributed to her strong political pedigree. Her father is Kenneth Hahn, who spent 40 years as a Los Angeles County supervisor after serving on L.A.’s City Council. A dominant figure in the city’s Democratic scene, the elder Hahn helped persuade the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team to relocate to the city in 1958. He also was the only city politician to meet the late civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the airport during one of his visits to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, a fact his daughter later used in a campaign ad. Her uncle Gordon Hahn also was a city councilman and served in the California Assembly. And her brother, James Hahn, was Los Angeles mayor from 2001 to 2005 after serving as city attorney. Janice Hahn’s mother, Ramona, also was active in local politics.

Hahn received an education degree from Abilene Christian University in Texas, and taught at a private academy for four years. She later worked a series of other jobs in the private sector, including as a public affairs manager at Southern California Edison and a vice president for Prudential Securities. She made an initial bid for Congress in 1998, waging an unsuccessful campaign against Republican Steven Kuykendall, who won a narrow 49%-47% victory. She spent two years as a member of the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission before being elected to the City Council in 2000. On the council, she cultivated the support of labor union members as a stalwart supporter of workers’ rights, often opposing layoffs and furloughs for city workers. She also developed a strong pro-environmental record and was known as a tough advocate for her poor constituents.

In 2010, Hahn sought to parlay her experience on the council into California’s lieutenant governorship. She was initially seen as the front-runner, based on the strength of her last name, but San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, later entered the race. He proved more charismatic to voters and trounced her in the Democratic primary by more than 20 percentage points.

When Harman, a Democrat, resigned her seat in Congress to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Hahn moved quickly to announce her candidacy. She vowed to work to “create new jobs, expand clean energy technologies, and ensure that local small business owners get the help and opportunities they need to flourish in a global economy.”

In the weeks that followed, Harman reportedly helped line up high-profile endorsements from such figures as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but her efforts did not deter California Secretary of State Debra Bowen from jumping into the race. The special election became the first test of the state’s new open primary system that allows voters to choose candidates of any political party. The top two finishers then compete for the seat. Bowen had been expected to finish at least well enough to advance to a runoff. But Bowen was unexpectedly nudged aside in the May primary by Republican Craig Huey, a tea party-backed website publisher. He spent $500,000 from his own pocket on a “cut spending, grow jobs” campaign. Hahn finished first with 24.6%, and he finished second with 22.2%, sending the two of them into a general election runoff.

Hahn set the tone for the campaign by running an ad in June highlighting what she termed Huey’s “extremist right-wing agenda” and comparing him with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. An outside conservative group, Turn Right USA, tried to help Huey with an inflammatory YouTube video that portrayed Hahn as friendly with gang members. But the ad—which featured a white stripper—sparked accusations of racism and sexism, and Huey himself denounced it. He did, however, distribute a local news report that was based on the charges in the video. He also depicted Hahn as a career politician while playing up his devotion to fiscal austerity.

With tea party activists involved, some Republicans had hopes of knocking off Hahn. But national Republicans largely stayed out of the race, leaving Huey to self-finance much of his campaign. He eventually poured more than $880,000 of his own money into the effort. Hahn, meanwhile, got fundraising help from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She won, 55% to 45%.

Hahn established herself as a reliable Democratic vote and was given a seat on the Homeland Security Committee, where Harman had also served. She got a provision in the House-passed intelligence authorization bill in 2012 to ensure that the coordination and training among spy agencies and local law enforcement agencies does not violate minorities’ constitutional rights. On the Small Business Committee, she introduced a bill in 2012 to make permanent a program within the Small Business Administration to reduce in length the application required for borrowers and streamline the response time for business loans.

When California’s congressional districts were redrawn by an independent commission after the 2010 census, Hahn had to compete with incumbent Richardson in the new 44th District. But Richardson was hurt by revelations about her finances; she was $454,000 in debt, including over $125,000 in legal bills stemming from a House ethics investigation into her staff’s work on both redistricting and personal errands.

Hahn, meanwhile, picked up the support of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, helping her make inroads among Latinos, and won the June primary 60%-40% over Richardson, setting up a rematch race for November. Then Richardson’s problems worsened; the House Ethics Committee recommended that she be formally reprimanded and pay a $10,000 fine for improperly using her legislative staff for campaign work and then obstructing the investigation. Hahn defeated Richardson with 60% of the vote.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-8220

(202) 226-7290

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 404
Washington, DC 20515-0544

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-8220

(202) 226-7290

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 404
Washington, DC 20515-0544

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 831-1799

(310) 831-1885

140 West Sixth Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 831-1799

(310) 831-1885

140 West Sixth Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 549-8282

(310) 549-8250

544 North Avalon Boulevard Suite 307
Wilmington, CA 90744

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 549-8282

(310) 549-8250

544 North Avalon Boulevard Suite 307
Wilmington, CA 90744

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 605-5520

(310) 761-1457

205 South Willowbrook Avenue
Compton, CA 90220

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 605-5520

(310) 761-1457

205 South Willowbrook Avenue
Compton, CA 90220

DISTRICT OFFICE

(323) 563-9562

8650 California Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280

DISTRICT OFFICE

(323) 563-9562

8650 California Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 830-7600

701 East Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745

DISTRICT OFFICE

(310) 830-7600

701 East Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1379 Park Western Drive Suite 142
San Pedro, CA 90732

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

1379 Park Western Drive Suite 142
San Pedro, CA 90732

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Mckinley Krongaus
Scheduler; Executive Assistant

Aerospace

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Appropriations

Laurie Saroff
Chief of Staff

Arts

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Campaign

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Consumers

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Disability

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Education

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Environment

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Family

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Finance

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Grants

Amanda Truong
Legislative Aide; Legislative Correspondent

Health

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Immigration

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Seniors

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Social Security

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Jocelyn Rivera-Olivas
Legislative Assistant

Women

Elizabeth Odendahl
Communications Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Janice Hahn
Votes: 99,909
Percent: 60.22%
Laura Richardson
Votes: 65,989
Percent: 39.78%
2012 PRIMARY
Janice Hahn
Votes: 24,843
Percent: 60.06%
Laura Richardson
Votes: 16,523
Percent: 39.94%
Prior Winning Percentages
2011 special (55%)

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