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Democrat Janice Hahn attempts to shed partisan label in war of TV ads with Republican Craig Huey

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

With the special election for California's 36th congressional district seat rapidly approaching on July 12th, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn is branding herself as one who has never held partisan office.

     "Janice Hahn is different. A local city councilwoman who has never held partisan office, Janice Hahn will fight for our agenda. A real plan to create green jobs in our communities, take on Washington spending, make the right cuts while protecting Medicare," says the announcer in one ad which also touts her as a community leader with fiscal discipline and a common sense agenda.

With the Hahn campaign possibly taking into account the presence of more Independents in the state of California, the same ad paints her opponent Huey as "another politician with an extreme partisan agenda." In the May election of 16 candidates that gave way to the Hahn vs. Huey showdown, Huey pulled off what some considered  a political upset in a congressional district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1. 

Another ad from the Hahn campaign even goes so far as to label her opponent Huey as a religious extremist, asserting that Huey views elections as spiritual battles and his opponents the forces of Satan. This same ad also touts many of the talking points touched upon in her other anti-Huey ad.

NOTE: Not detailed explicitly in her 30 second ad, the actual letter written by Huey (originally obtained by Politico) doesn't refer to his political opponents as "forces of Satan" during a quest for public office. He wasn't running for public office at the time. The now aspiring Tea Party candidate actually was writing the letter to residents of the Rolling Hills Estates community over ten years ago (2002), gathering support from fellow church members for a church expansion plan in the fate of the local city council at the time.

As for Huey's ad campaign against Hahn, one ad mostly hits both Congress as a whole and President Obama in the areas of spending and the national debt. Although he doesn't mention his political party like Hahn, Huey made news headlines for being a Republican that grabbed the final runoff spot from another favored Democrat in the 36th congressional district.

Asking for constituents to help bring a new approach to Washington DC, Huey attempts to portray himself as someone who is not a career politician, an obvious jab at his opponent Hahn. In an effort to reach out to more than just his own Republican base, the Tea Party backed candidate touts the claim in his ad that he's backed by "Outraged Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, and Democrats tired of special interest politics."  Huey also doesn't hide his affiliations with inside-the-Beltway conservative politicians such as Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif), Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif).

Both candidates will bring their own branding to July 12th's special election. Hahn has served on the Los Angeles City Council since 2001.  Huey has never held public office. On the campaign trail, Hahn recently topped $1 million while Huey followed with $839,514 (in large part financed by himself and loans he had taken out).  Ultimately, the claims of both candidates, that they can appeal to a broad coalition of voters, will soon be put to the test.

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