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Capitol Hill. (Photo: USCP.gov)

30th House District 2024 Race Intensifies Following Schiff’s Announcement

‘This is a district where Democrats will fight each other to the death to win’

By Evan Symon, January 27, 2023 12:53 pm

A day after Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced that he would be running for Senate and not reelection for the House in 2024, four additional candidates have also filed paperwork for a run next year.

There have been a large number of early candidacy declarations not only for the Senate seat itself, but also for House races where candidates will be leaving to run.

After Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) announced her U.S. Senate run on January 10th, rather than running for re-election, candidates including former Democratic Congressman Harley Rouda, state Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine), and 2022 runner up Scott Baugh, quickly entered the race 22 months early. Baugh only narrowly lost to Porter, nearly flipping the seat back to the GOP following redistricting and increased Republican support in the district.

While other districts are expected to also have many candidates declare, such as the 11th district over Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s possible retirement, the 12th district over Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s likely Senate run, and the 17th district of Congressman Ro Khanna, none have had as many candidates file paperwork as Schiff’s 30th District.

As of Friday, only one major candidate has officially entered the race so far, 2022 runner-up Maebe A. Girl, who lost in a landslide to Schiff, 150,024 votes to Girl’s 60,923, or 71% to 29%. While Girl has been a member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council since 2019, 2022 was her second failed bid for Congress, and as a Democrat who will likely face multiple prominent Democrats in the 2024 House primary, it would likely be an uphill battle.

The four major candidates to have filed paperwork and are likely to announce official runs soon are Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-North Hollywood), LA Board of Education member Nick Melvoin, state Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), and actor Ben Savage.

Major candidates file for 2024 House runs in district

Laura Friedman
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Friedman, who filed earlier this month, would come in with 14 years experience in elected office. This includes being a Glendale City Councilwoman from 2009 to 2106, Mayor of Glendale for a rotating sting in 2011 and 2012, and in the Assembly since 2016. While she has opposed and delayed funding to controversial issues in the past, such as California High-Speed rail, she is best known for authoring AB 44, which banned the sale of fur products in California.

Melvoin, a former teacher, has only held one public office, as a member of the LA Board of Education since 2017. Melvoin won an astounding victory against then incumbent Steve Zimmer, although that was somewhat marred by the huge amount he spent to win, including being given $5 million by the Walton family.

Senator Anthony Portantino. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Portantino has by far the longest resume. After winning his first election for the La Canada Flintridge City Council in 1999, Portantino served until 2006, when outgoing Assemblywoman Carol Liu approved of him as her successor and officially endorsed him. An Assemblyman from 2006 to 2012, Portantino was out of the Legislature for a few cycles before being elected State Senator in 2016.

Savage, meanwhile, is best known for his acting roles, including his best known role as a member of the cast of the TV show Boy Meets World in the 1990’s. He comes in with little experience, having only a short internship for Senator Arlen Spector in 2003 and a failed run for the North Hollywood City Council in 2022. Following his filing last week, his team has yet to say if he really will run, noting that he is currently more focused on his upcoming wedding rather than the upcoming election.

“He is focused on his upcoming wedding,” a member of Savage’s team said last week. “Ben is still making decisions and always looking for opportunities to give back and serve the community.”

With four candidates on the brink of running, as well as others, such as former LA City Attorney Mike Feuer publicly expressing interest, many political watchers have pointed to the 30th district as likely having one of the most intense primaries next year.

“This is a very strong Democratic district, so it will likely be an all-around Democrat slugfest with maybe a token GOP candidate there who could rely on a huge split and get in while everyone else is trying to get first,” Denise Harder, a Glendale-based polling consultant, told the Globe Friday. “Out of everyone filed or officially running, Friedman and Portantino are the best known because of being longtime politicians here and being in office for quite some time. Melvoin has a lot to speak for for his role in the 2019 LA teachers strike, plus, with the district covering mostly the surrounding cities and not LA itself, he’ll have a hard time. Savage has the star-power and name and could ride off of that, but he also really hasn’t been all too active in politics until very recently. Feuer would be another big name, but he hasn’t announced yet.”

“The big thing to take away from the 30th is that it is wide open, and will be fought over. It’s not about Democrat or Republican, it’s really about which Democrat they want. And with so many choices, a November run off between the top two could see area Democrats siphoning money very quickly from each other. It’s not like Porter’s district where the GOP has a decent chance to win. This is a district where Democrats will fight each other to the death to win. House seats don’t become this open that often, so it’s only a matter of time before they start officially enter.”

Candidates are expected to announce official runs soon.

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