Gov. Jerry Brown has set the date of the special election for the 36th Congressional District race for Tuesday, May 17.

The election is being held to replace former Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who resigned abruptly in February.

The special election will be one of California’s first open primary elections, when candidates from all political parties, including those who decline to state their political preference, will be on the same ballot.

If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote May 17, the top two will face off in the general election July 12, according to the governor’s office.

Democratic candidate and Secretary of State Debra Bowen recently secured two high-profile endorsements from former area legislators, ex-Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and ex-Rep. Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica).

Galanter represented what is now Council District 11 for 15 years, and Levine represented Santa Monica in Congress from 1983 until 1992.

“I’m honored to be supported by Ruth Galanter and Mel Levine,” Bowen said. “They have both served as mentors to me, and it means a lot to me that they have endorsed my candidacy for Congress.”

Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, another Democratic candidate, has received endorsements from such local legislators as state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Marina del Rey) and Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, as well as pledged support from a myriad of labor groups.

Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean Logan announced that persons intending to run for office in the 36th Congressional District special primary election on May 17 may file nomination documents through 5 p.m. Friday, March 25.