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Gov. Jerry Brown has called a July 12 election to fill former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman's seat, triggering a May 17 special primary in the 36th Congressional District

Harman stepped down late last month to take a job as president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The field of candidates so far include Democratic Secretary of State Debra Bowen and two other Democrats -- Janice Hahn, a member of the Los Angeles City Council, and Marcy Winograd, the liberal activist who previously challenged Harman for the coastal Los Angeles County seat. Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin and City Attorney Mike Webb, both Republicans, have also announced campaigns.

It will be the first congressional election conducted under the state's new "top two" primary rules. Unless one candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the May primary, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the July runoff.

Brown had hoped to consolidate the contest with an early June statewide election on extending temporary tax increases, but a deal to put the taxes on the ballot did not materialize by today's deadline for setting the congressional election dates.


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