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What does outgoing Democratic Rep. Jane Harman's last day on the job have to do with the state budget?

Timing.

Harman, who was expected to step down yesterday to take a job as president of a Washington, D.C., think tank, has pushed back her resignation date so that a special primary election to fill her 36th Congressional District seat could be consolidated with the early June statewide election that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to call:

Brown's office released the following statement late yesterday:

"At Governor Brown's request, Congresswoman Harman has agreed to resign from Congress on February 28th. By resigning at the end of the month, the Congresswoman is increasing the possibility that the primary election to fill her seat can be consolidated into the statewide election that Governor Brown has requested for June."

Even with Harman's resignation delay, the money-saving consolidation strategy isn't a sure thing. The ability to coordinate election schedules is contingent on the Legislature approving Brown's plan to put proposed tax extensions on the ballot by early March.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and Secretary of State Debra Bowen, both Democrats, have announced they'll run for the seat.



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