Liberals are circling the wagons around Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D) as she heads into the House special-election runoff with Republican Craig Huey.
Hahn and Huey, a wealthy businessman, finished first and second in the May 17 primary for former Rep. Jane Harman's (D-Calif.) seat.
Hahn has since been backed by EMILY's List, Gov. Jerry Brown (D), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other members of the California delegation. She's also been endorsed by anti-war activist Marcy Winograd, who placed fourth in primary.
And on Friday, Hahn found backing in former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
During the primary, Dean backed Debra Bowen, the California secretary of State, who subsequently finished third. The former governor of Vermont said it was now time to move forward to make sure the seat stays in Democratic hands.
"With the primary election now behind us, Janice has emerged as our clear and critical choice for the 36th district," Dean said in a statement. "I urge all Democrats to join me in working to get her elected to Congress, and defeat the right wing extremists backing her opponent in this race."
California's 36th district leans Democratic, but strategists are worried that Huey can use his financial muscle to make it competitive. The runoff vote is set for July 12.
Bowen has said she won't endorse in the race on account of her position as the state's chief elections officer.