The California League of Conservation Voters has endorsed two rival Democrats in the crowded race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills).

State Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance and former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel both won the backing of the league, their campaigns announced this week.

Running down the coast from Malibu through the Palos Verdes Peninsula and encompassing the Santa Monica Mountains, the 33rd Congressional District has many voters who favor environmental protections.  The league's endorsement could be important in swaying them.

And league officials apparently couldn't decide between Greuel and Lieu, widely viewed as among the front-runners of the 18 candidates on the ballot.

Here's what the organization's political director, David Allgood, had to say about Greuel in a statement released by her campaign Friday:

Greuel "has always been a leader on environmental issues.... We have every confidence that when Wendy is in Congress, she will be a fierce advocate for protecting natural resources and combating climate change."

Allgood also was effusive in a statement the Lieu campaign released a day earlier, in which he noted Lieu received the highest possible rating on the organization's "score card" rating lawmakers on their environmental records.

"We feel confident Ted will continue this good work for the environment in Congress, and that's why we support him in this race," Allgood said.

How does a dual endorsement help voters? The Times could not reach Allgood on Friday to get his explanation.

At least the league narrowed it down to two.

Two is the number of candidates who will advance to the general election ballot under the state's top-two primary election system.  Party affiliation, if any, doesn't matter.

Waxman racked up a strong record on environmental issues in the four decades he held the seat.  His Jan. 30 announcement that he would retire at the end of his term drew 10 Democrats, three Republicans, three independents and two small-party candidates to the June 3 primary ballot.

 

 

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jean.merl@latimes.com

Twitter: @jeanmerl