By most measures, the South Bay and Long Beach congressional district elections on the Nov. 4 ballot are not seriously competitive.
Traditionally Democratic, the districts are mostly occupied by incumbents with long ties to the community who vote largely along party lines.
The names are familiar: Congress members Maxine Waters, Janice Hahn, Alan Lowenthal, Lucille Roybal Allard and Linda Sanchez. All have made strong strides in their districts, but with partisan gridlock so entrenched, it’s difficult for any member of Congress to make a mark immediately. It’s all about the long haul.
The lone newcomer in the area will be in the 33rd Congressional District, where after four decades Rep. Henry Waxman is retiring. Waxman was so effective in part because he understood that issues took years, not terms, to address, and he was tireless. California Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr, the Republican candidate, are in a fight for the seat but Lieu is favored to win.
This editorial board endorsed Lieu because of his long service and deep understanding of the area. He is independent enough not to always vote with his party.
The board interviewed the newest congressional representatives and arrived at these endorsements:
JANICE HAHN IN THE 44TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Janice Hahn has been a U.S. representative since 2011, when she was put into office through a special election to represent an area that runs from South Gate to San Pedro. She deserves another term.
Her most significant effort has been to create a national port caucus that, although largely symbolic, is a smart way for her to build up allies in a divisive atmosphere. The big question, and one she has dodged, is whether she will abandon her post to run for her father’s old seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors when it becomes open in 2016.