State Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and Republican gang prosecutor Elan Carr will square off today in a battle to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman and represent a predominantly Democratic Westside-South Bay-San Fernando Valley congressional district.
Carr surprised some by finishing atop a crowded field of candidates in the June primary election, earning 21.5 percent of the vote. But Carr benefited from the splitting of Democratic votes among a list of candidates that included former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and City Controller Wendy Greuel.
He is likely to have a tougher time of it in today’s election, given the political makeup of the 33rd Congressional District, which is one of the most affluent in the nation, including such areas as Santa Monica, Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes.
Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, held the seat since 1975.
Carr is a U.S. Army veteran, joining the service just months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was eventually deployed to Iraq, served as a prosecutor of insurgents who attacked American troops and helped train Iraqi judges on constitutional and criminal law. He joined the District Attorney’s Office when he returned from overseas, and has been a prosecutor for more than seven years.
He said he wants to fight against “dysfunction” in Washington, target the national debt, bolster the economy, improve the education system and “stand strongly with our friends and allies around the world.”
Lieu is a graduate of Stanford University and the Georgetown University Law Center. He served in the U.S. Air Force, serving at one point in Guam and helping airlift Kurds out of northern Iraq. He later worked as a clerk at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and practiced civil law. He was elected to the Torrance City Council in 2002, the Assembly in 2005 and the state Senate in 2011.
Lieu said he has fought to protect the environment, seniors, children and “those without a voice.” He said he hopes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, boost education spending and fight to raise the minimum wage.