Nanette Barragan defeats Isadore Hall III in tight battle for Harbor Area congressional seat
Nanette Diaz Barragan eked out a narrow victory over Democratic Party favorite Isadore Hall III in a bruising fight for the Harbor Area congressional seat vacated by Rep. Janice Hahn.
With all 358 precincts reporting and mail-in votes counted early Wednesday, Barragan captured the seat by slightly more than two points, with 51.1 percent of the vote to Hall’s 48.8 percent. She will replace Hahn, who endorsed Hall for the seat she held since 2011. Hahn won a seat Tuesday on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Hall billed himself as a pragmatic lawmaker, able to compromise and talk with both sides of the aisle. The more progressive Barragan relentlessly attacked his environmental record, arguing he was too friendly with oil industry representatives. She also seized on his history of taking large campaign donations from gambling, alcohol and tobacco interests.
On Monday, Hall’s campaign sent out a press release calling on the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to open a criminal investigation into a mailer Barragan sent to voters that he said superimposed his picture next to that of Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower.
Hall contends Barragan led a racist campaign, darkening his photo in her campaign mailers and saying he would be a “black taint” on the Democratic Party, in an interview with the Daily Breeze.
Barragan called him “the worst type of politician who talks out of both sides of his mouth.”
She has promised to push for progressive environmental initiatives at the port, where constant heavy shipping and diesel truck traffic has created one of the most polluted regions in the country.
She also said she would work to lower high school dropout rates and improve educational options for students.
Immigration reform was a centerpiece of her campaign, as she focused on her story as a child of Mexican immigrants growing up in the Carson area.
“I’m not learning immigration, I am immigration,” Barragan said. “My mom had a third-grade education. I have family living in the shadows. I know the bureaucracy of the system when people try to come in the legal way. I think that adds value in Congress. The stuff in Congress is complex. You want somebody who’s going to be a policy person, who’s going to dig into the issues.”