Jane Harman to Leave Congress
California Rep. bolts for think tank gig
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2011 12:49 PM CST
Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., reads along as an audio recording of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address is played, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Longtime California Rep. Jane Harman will leave Congress to head up the Woodrow Wilson Center, she said in an email to constituents today. "This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed," Harman wrote, according to the AP. "But shaping and leading the Wilson Center is a thrilling new challenge."

Harman is expected to formally announce the move tomorrow, a congressional source tells Roll Call. After that, her email indicates that she'll remain "for some weeks" to ensure an orderly transition. The race to replace her will be the first test of California's new all-party primary system, in which the top vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election. "It’s going to be a free for all for that seat," says the chairman of the local Democratic party. Trying to remember who exactly Harman is? Click here for our grid on her.