The race to succeed Jane Harman is shaping up as a two-woman contest. Debra Bowen secured the endorsement of Howard Dean in the past week, and already is the progressive's darling. Janice Hahn has some ties to national politics too, but thus far has not played them up. The idea of replacing Harman with Bowen of course has considerable appeal to the DailyKos set and their nationwide progressive loyalists.
There will be a runoff in this race if nobody wins outright on May 17, and the runoff will be between the top two vote-getters, regardless of party. Bowen's biggest concern, ironically, is not Hahn but Marcy Winograd, another progressive and anti-war activist who maintains a small but loyal base in the district. On the Republican side, Mike Gin figures to be the beneficiary of most of the ironclad Republican votes, and he could emerge as the second name in a runoff should Winograd outperform.