On Tuesday, June 23rd Nanette Barragan the newly appointed Mayor of Hermosa Beach shocked many in the audience by announcing her very early resignation of her position and also announced her resignation from her position on city council at the end of the month. At the time of this resignation, she will have only been Mayor for a total of five weeks. On top of that, she is bailing out of her post as Councilwoman a full two years before her term ends in 2017.
Barragan’s self-serving reasoning for leaving office prior to finishing her term was to focus on her own political ambitions as she campaigns for Congress in California’s 44th District. Hermosa Beach is in California’s 33rd Congressional Districts– one of the wealthiest districts in the nation. It’s not in the 44th District where Barragan is planning to run against community favorite Senator Isadore Hall. Hall has been a political staple within the 44th Congressional District for years, and has a resounding fundraising advantage over all comers with over $400,000 currently in his Congressional war chest.
Because of Halls popularity in the district and his large fundraising advantage , Barragan has decided to quit her job on the Hermosa Beach City Council and move to San Pedro so that she can live in the District in which she is running to represent in Congress.
Barragan decided to leave the position after being Mayor for only a quick heartbeat. This action raises serious question as to why she even took the position in the first place.
One reason many political insiders believes is to garner a better political ballot designation when the ballot goes before the voters in 2016. In a political campaign- especially a competitive Congressional race- ballot titles can be key to giving a candidate an advantage in appealing to voters. Senator Hall will have the advantage of being from the City of Compton where he served on the school board, the city council, represented the community as an assemblyman for 8 years and for being the current California State Senator. But Barragan is hoping that this short term appointment will allow her to have the designation of “Former Mayor”.
A voter who knows very little about a political race or the candidates running may vote for a candidate because he or she holds a trusted position such as teacher, small business owner, or even a local Mayor. For Nanette Barragan to use Mayor as her ballot title would be deceptive and disingenuous to voters but also a key political strategy move.
Voters who trust the work of local Mayors and believe that the work of a Mayor is valued in a candidate would be led to believe incorrectly that Barragan has that work experience. It would insinuate that Barragan served her community as Mayor, not just held the seat for a nanosecond– a mere few weeks. This might give her an undeserved advantage and falsely portray her legitimacy to voters.
Her resignation also has the potential to cost taxpayers serious money to fill her vacated seat through a special election, a cost in which Barragan appears to care very little about. This is money that could be spent to help fund schools, public safety, and the building of public parks. This added use of resources detracts from public interests due to the self-serving and politically ambitious interests of the former mayor. Not to mention the fact that she is abandoning the residents who elected her to a four-year term in Hermosa Beach.
The people of Hermosa Beach voted for Barragan so that she would promote the interests of the community, not her political career-driven interests. Now she is abandoning them halfway through her term to run for higher office in a district she doesn’t currently live in and one where the needs and concerns of the voters are very different from the needs and concerns of her current Hermosa Beach Community.
Voters in the 44th Congressional District need and deserve a leader who has deep roots and close connections to the many diverse neighborhoods encompassed by it. They need a who has lived the challenges of the district on a daily basis, a candidate with a proven record of standing up for the citizens of the 44th, fighting on their behalf, and delivering results for them.