The announcement Tuesday that Rep. Carlos J. Moorhead (R-Glendale) will not seek reelection sets the stage for a spirited race next year to represent a district that increasingly appears open to either Democrats or Republicans.
Moorhead gave Assemblyman James Rogan (R-Glendale) a boost in the race by announcing that he will endorse him and may even donate to him $70,000 that is left in Moorhead's campaign account.
In a news release, Rogan, a former Municipal Court judge and prosecutor, praised Moorhead and said he will seek the congressional post. In fact, he has already formed the federal election committee necessary to run.
"I look forward to the campaign and will do my best to serve the 27th Congressional District with the same devotion and distinction that our district has received from Congressman Moorhead," he said.
Rogan's 43rd Assembly District includes Glendale and Burbank and portions of North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Los Feliz and Atwater.
Moorhead's 27th District, including Pasadena, Glendale and several adjoining communities, was once considered a Republican stronghold but is now seen by political analysts as vulnerable to takeover by a Democrat.
Two Democrats--Doug Kahn, who runs an Altadena printing shop and challenged Moorhead in 1992 and 1994, and longtime Screen Actors Guild President Barry Gordon--have already launched their bids for the post.
Gordon, a State Bar member and longtime actor, announced his candidacy in July and has hired a campaign staff. He said he is confident that voters are willing to send a moderate Democrat like himself to Washington.
"The district represents a more mainstream portion of our society which is ready to reject the extremes of the left and the right," he said. Gordon said he will campaign to help the entertainment industry replace thousands of aerospace jobs lost in post-Cold War downsizing.
Kahn, who has opened a campaign office, could not be reached for comment. But in the past he accused Moorhead of being a do-nothing lawmaker, saying the district needs a more aggressive advocate.