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Janice Hahn Case Study

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On the heels of news that then-Congresswoman Jane Harman was retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives, our firm’s co-founder, Dave Jacobson, managed and spearheaded then-L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s masterful victory in the 2011 special election to fulfill the old 36th Congressional District seat. The nationally-watched race was unique in the sense that it was California’s first open jungle primary in the state’s history, where it was conducted in a top-two manner. 

Hahn, an underdog candidate herself, defied conventional wisdom that then high-profile Secretary of State, and former longtime state lawmaker for the region, Debra Bowen, would win the race. Jacobson led Hahn’s successful campaign, and not only bested Bowen, but also outperformed 15 other primary candidates, including other Democrats, as well as Republicans and Green Party competitors.  

The Los Angeles Times summarized the general election, in which Hahn faced off against multi-millionaire Tea Party Republican Craig Huey, as "a hard-fought special Congressional election marked by sharp divisions in ideology and even sharper personal attacks."  Despite an onslaught of money spent by her opponent, "Hahn took 55 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting... compared with 45 percent for Huey," wrote Roll Call.  In their post election wrap-up piece, POLITICO wrote, "Hahn emerged with a win despite an aggressive campaign by [Craig] Huey, a wealthy tea partier who poured $883,000 of his own money into the effort after a surprise second-place primary finish vaulted him into the runoff." 

Supervisor Hahn's Advocacy Efforts

Stronger and Safer Neighborhoods PAC

Since her 2011 Congressional triumph, Jacobson and Zilber have helped Hahn in scores of following elections, from her 2012 re-election battle that came after California's redistricting and which pitted her against a Congressional colleague, then-Congresswoman Laura Richardson, in the newly drawn 44th Congressional District. They also spearheaded her 2014 re-election bid for the 44th District, and then in 2016, helped her successfully win a seat on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing a district with a population of nearly two million people.​​

Since then, Jacobson and Zilber Strategies have worked with L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn to help her ballot measure committee win seven ballot measures. The measures' victories have resulted in funding hundreds of millions of dollars for education, water infrastructure to combat run-off of toxic pollutants and environmental protections, and also funding for local police to enhance neighborhood security. The ballot measures include:

  • Yes on Los Angeles County's Measure W

  • Yes on Long Beach Measure M

  • Yes on ABC Unified School District Measure BB

  • Yes on Palos Verdes Estates Measure B

  • Yes on Manhattan Beach Unified School District Measure MB

  • Yes on Little Lake Unified School District Measure LL

  • Yes on El Segundo Unified School District Measure ES

Television and Digital Media

Direct Mail

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