Bill Bloomfield was his 2012 challenger. Bloomfield was a former Republican turned independent who had deep pockets. Bloomfield won the southern portion of the district 59%-41%. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in these cities 51%-49%. Waxman won because he won the northern part of the district, containing ultra liberal Santa Monica, as well as West LA, Beverly Hills, and Malibu, 62%-38%. While going from Republican to independent, NPP in California, improved Bloomfield's totals, even being an independent here wasn't enough to get Democrats to vote for him. A moderate Democratic candidate like former Congresswoman Jane Harman would diminish Waxman's totals in the north and would likely win the anti-Waxman vote in the south. Waxman could go down a la Pete Stark, but only with the right Democrat.
Producer Brent Roske is challenging Waxman. Roske is producer of the web series “Chasing the Hill.” Per the LA Times:
He is running as an independent, placing emphasis on entertainment industry issues like runaway production, and his first campaign spot “will show the intersection between Hollywood and Washington and why voting for someone from the entertainment industry just makes sense to represent this district.”Roske's candidacy sounds like a publicity stunt, since the article says that he plans to spend $5,000 on the campaign. In fact, his run as an independent may siphon off enough Republican and moderate votes to prevent a moderate Democrat from winning. Waxman remains vulnerable but for him to lose the district will need the right moderate Democrat and either weak or diffuse Republicans that'll make sure the moderate makes Top Two. The right moderate would then beat Waxman in a general election. That might not happen in 2014, but there will be three more elections between now and redistricting in 2022. Waxman will be 75 on election day 2014. Either he retires or gets beat some time before that redistricting.