Democrat Janice Hahn defeats Craig Huey for Rep. Jane Harman's seat

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Janice Hahn

Democrat Janice Hahn defeated Republican Craig Huey Tuesday in the special election in Southern California to replace Rep. Jane Harman, who resigned her seat in February to run a Washington think tank.

The Los Angeles city councilwoman's win keeps the seat in the hands of Democrats, who had initially expected to easily win the race, but faced a strong challenge from Huey in the 36th congressional district where Democrats far outnumber Republicans.

Hahn won the first special election in May, but did not garner more than 50 percent of the vote, forcing a runoff with the businessman and favorite of conservative Tea Party Republicans.

Hahn garnered about 41,585 votes, or about 55 percent, while Huey took 34,636, or about 45 percent.

Hahn hails from a family of politicians in Southern California. Her brother James was the mayor of Los Angeles from 2001-2005 and her father Kenneth was a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for 40 years and served on the city council before that.

Hahn's mother, Ramona, died on Monday, one day before she could see her daughter's election to Congress.

  • Corbett Daly On Twitter» Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.