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Bowenha_APAPA13992.JPGSecretary of State Debra Bowen is considering running for the congressional seat expected to be vacated by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman.

"She is very, very seriously considering running for Congress," Bowen campaign consultant Steve Barkan said. "It's brand new news, and so she needs to take all factors into consideration."

News broke today that Harman, 65, will leave office to take a job as president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, setting the stage for a special election in the 36th Congressional District.

Bowen hails from Marina Del Rey, which is part of the district, and represented the area in the state Assembly and Senate from 1992 to 2006. She will be termed out of her job as the state elections chief in 2014.

An added incentive for seeking a job in the Beltway? Her husband Mark Nechodom works in Washington, D.C., as the senior advisor to the Secretary on Environmental Markets at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Another candidate expected to run is Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. A source close to Hahn said the San Pedro Democrat is planning to announce a run once Harman makes her resignation official.

Hahn, who lost last year's lieutenant governor primary to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, was the 36th Congressional District Democratic nominee in 1998, before the district was redrawn to its current shape after the 2000 census.

Democrats have an 18-point advantage in the the 36th Congressional District, which stretches along the Los Angeles County coast and includes Venice, Torrance and Redondo Beach. It is unknown how the district map will change for 2012 under the current redistricting process.

Once the seat is vacant, Gov. Jerry Brown will have 14 days to call a special election. The election will be the state's first congressional contest conducted under the top two primary rules created by Proposition 14.

Editor's note: This post was updated at 11:57 a.m. to add that Nechodom has a new title. Hahn is also planning to run. This post was updated on Feb. 13 to reflect that

PHOTO CREDIT: Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen talks at one of the biggest election year gathering of candidates Sunday at a candidates forum at Sac State organized by the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.



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