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FRIDAY REPORT / An in-depth look at people and policies
shaping Los Angeles County | Local Elections / 27th
Congressional District

James E. Rogan (R) vs. Barry Gordon (D)

October 09, 1998

Despite a strong primary showing, Republican incumbent James E. Rogan has his work cut out for him this fall when he faces Democratic challenger Barry Gordon.

"The problem is the district--it's trending Democratic," said Allan Hoffenblum, a veteran Republican political consultant whose California Target Book provides a detailed look at the state's hotly contested legislative and congressional races. "He can't afford to sit back and do nothing."

Democrats would love to unseat freshman congressman Rogan, who has rankled them with his strong anti-Clinton stance on the House Judiciary Committee regarding the presidential sex scandal and is close to Speaker Newt Gingrich.

They recruited Gordon, an attorney and former president of the Screen Actors Guild. Gordon ran for the seat two years ago, when it became open with the retirement of the area's longtime representative, Republican Carlos Moorhead, but narrowly lost the Democratic primary to a moneyed competitor.

Gordon will get some help from organized labor's strong presence in this race and in the overlapping 44th Assembly District campaign.

Rogan, a former Municipal Court judge, was elected to the Assembly in a 1994 special election and was elected by his caucus to a leadership post in January 1996.

Registration is 44% Democratic and 39% Republican. The other candidate in the race is Libertarian Bob New.

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