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Secretary of State Debra Bowen has conceded the second spot in the 36th Congressional District runoff to Republican Craig Huey.

"It is clear now that I will not be in the runoff, and I congratulate Janice Hahn and Craig Huey," the Marina Del Rey Democrat said in a statement issued this afternoon.

Bowen, who represented the area in the Legislature for more than a decade, had been considered a front-runner in contest to fill the seat vacated by the retirement of Democratic Rep. Jane Harman.

But Tuesday's16-way special primary left Bowen and Huey locked in a close race for the right to face Democrat Hahn, the top vote-getter, in the July 12 runoff. Today's updated ballot count showed Huey's initial edge over Bowen swelling to 750 votes.

"I'm very humbled by each and every vote that was cast for me in this election, and by the grassroots support I received," Bowen said in the statement.

Huey, who runs a political website for conservative Christians, bolstered his primary bid with a $500,000 loan.

Democrats' double-digit registration advantage in the coastal Los Angeles County district is expected to give Hahn an edge in the second round of balloting. The Los Angeles city councilwoman is a member of one of the region's most prominent political families.


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