Republican Elan Carr and Democratic rival Ted Lieu will advance to the general election in November to replace Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, 74. The Southern California representative has been in office for 40 years, and his retirement announcement back in January set off a frenzied campaign race that at one point included 25 people.
Waxman endorsed Lieu on Thursday, according to the LA Times.
"I'll be proud to have him take my place," Waxman said of Lieu.
By Tuesday, primary voting day, the field had been whittled down to 17 candidates. Carr won 21.5 percent of the vote, while Lieu won 19 percent. Wendy Greuel, a Democrat, trailed with 16.8 percent.
Waxman was voted into office in 1974, and he represents the second-wealthiest congressional district in the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Times. The 33rd District's boundaries include tony Los Angeles county cities like Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Rancho Palos Verdes and Agoura Hills, as well as affluent communities like Bel-Air, Venice, Pacific Palisades and Redondo Beach.
In his 40-year-career on Capitol Hill, Waxman focused on health care and the environment. His most important legislation includes the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (which extends health insurance to nearly 8 million children) and the Ryan White Care Act (it gives more than half a million people access to HIV-related services).
He is the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and from 1979 to 1994, he chaired the appointments on Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Health and the Environment.
Waxman is also well-known for grilling officials, executives and other notables during his congressional oversight hearings. Joshua Green of Bloomberg notes that Waxman's 1994 hearing for the CEOs of the nation's biggest tobacco companies was "iconic" and captured "a moment when lawmakers weren’t despised, but viewed as valuable public servants."
Jim Newton of the Los Angeles Times sums up Waxman's accomplishments thusly:
Waxman is best known for his leadership on big issues — he championed universal health insurance, clean air and water, gay rights, and he took on Big Tobacco at a time when that seemed like a lost cause — but he's also practical, grounded in the concerns of his constituents and sensitive to the nuances of this part of California. The challenge for his successor will be to muster those same qualities.
In other words, he's a tough act to follow.