LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Secretary of State Debra Bowen has declared her candidacy to replace longtime Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo.

“I’m in,” Bowen said. “This was not an easy decision. I spent the past week discussing a potential run with my family and close friends, and thinking how I can best serve the public.”

As an assemblywoman and state senator, Bowen represented much of the same area covered by Harman’s 36th Congressional District, which includes Los Angeles’ Westside and South Bay.

Another Democrat, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, also has declared her intention to run for Harman’s seat.

Harman announced on Feb. 7 that she would retire from the job she’s held almost continuously since 1993. She plans on taking the top job at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which operates under the aegis of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

As soon as Harman departs, Gov. Jerry Brown will have 14 days to set a special election to fill the seat.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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