Republican Elan Carr led the race tonight to replace the retiring Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, while a pair of Democrats were battling it out for the right to advance to the November general election in the predominantly Democratic district.
Early results showed Carr with 23.4 percent of the vote, while Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, and former Los Angeles City Controller and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel battling for the second-place spot with 19.8 and 18.5 percent of the vote, respectively.
Eighteen candidates were listed on the ballot in hopes of representing the 33rd Congressional District. The district is one of the most affluent in the nation, including areas such as Santa Monica, Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Palos Verdes.
The district is also one of the most liberal in the country -- hence the 10 Democrats in the field versus just three Republicans.
Lieu and Greuel were the most well-known politicians in the race, although self-help author Marianne Williamson, running as an Independent, had a slight celebrity benefit. But her name recognition failed to translate into votes.
Radio host Matt Miller, who also worked as a budget adviser in President Bill Clinton's administration, scored the cherished endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, giving him a late-campaign boost, but he only had 8.9 percent of votes, according to early returns.
The top two candidates will advance to a November general election.
Waxman has held the seat since 1974.
Meanwhile, a smaller field of eight hopefuls looking to replace retiring Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, in the 25th Congressional District was led by former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican, who garnered 28.4 percent of the vote, while Sen. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster, had 27.4 percent.
The district is generally seen as a Republican stronghold, although the percentage of Democrats in the district has grown to nearly equal Republicans.
Only two Democrats were in the field of hopefuls -- podiatrist Lee Rogers and Air Force veteran Evan Thomas. Rogers had 22.9 percent of the vote, while Thomas lagged far behind with 10.6 percent.
The district, which covers the Santa Clarita Valley and part of the Antelope Valley, also stretches into Ventura County, including Simi Valley. The area has deep military roots, and McKeon was been the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.
With 391 of 448 precincts reporting:
ELAN CARR (R) 17,158 22.0
TED LIEU (D) 15,134 19.4
WENDY GREUEL (D) 13,012 16.7
M WILLIAMSON (NP) 9,487 12.2
MATT MILLER (D) 9,125 11.7
LILY GILANI (R) 5,651 7.2
KEVIN MOTTUS (R) 1,840 2.4
BARBARA L MULVANEY (D) 1,824 2.3
DAVID KANUTH (D) 1,112 1.4
KRISTIE HOLMES (D) 739 1.0
MARK MATTHEW HERD (L) 652 0.8
MICHAEL IAN SACHS (G) 526 0.7
MICHAEL SHAPIRO (D) 502 0.6
TOM FOX (NP) 373 0.5
ZEIN E OBAGI JR (D) 330 0.4
VINCE FLAHERTY (D) 246 0.3
JAMES GRAF (D) 230 0.3
BRENT C ROSKE (NP) 125 0.2
--City News Service