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The election cycle got a whale of a jump start this morning, with the news that longtime Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman is soon to resign from the United States Congress in order to head a DC think tank.

As Chris Bowers pointed out earlier today, the pending special election represents an incredibly important opportunity for the Progressive Caucus to add a member to their roster in what is, at present, a blue district.

Progressives might already have a top-tier candidate waiting in the wings, according to Torey Van Oot of Sacramento Bee:

Secretary of State Debra Bowen is considering running for the congressional seat expected to be vacated by Democratic Rep. Jane Harman.

"She is very, very seriously considering running for Congress," Bowen campaign consultant Steve Barkan said. "It's brand new news, and so she needs to take all factors into consideration."

Bowen is in the midst of her second term as California Secretary of State, but she has extensive local ties to the South Bay area, which houses the California 36th. She was elected to the State Assembly the same year Harman was elected to Congress (1992), and serviced the region in both the Assembly and State Senate until her SoS bid in 2006.

Bowen is also a popular progressive whose address to Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh two years ago was well-received.

Though the Democratic field could be a large one (with 2008/10 primary challenger Marcy Winograd and LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn as real possibilities), Bowen's entrance into the field could be an incredibly intriguing development in this race.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 07, 2011 at 01:20 PM PST.

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