Ending a bitter special congressional election for the South Bay area, Democrat Janice Hahn defeated Republican Craig Huey on Tuesday.
Unofficial election night returns showed the Los Angeles city councilwoman with 54.6% of the vote, compared with the businessman's 45.4%
Janice Hahn's margin of victory, just over nine percentage points, reflects what polls were showing leading up to yesterday's election. But the race became much closer than intially expected, especially since Jane Harman, the Democrat who left Congress earlier this year and whom Hahn is replacing, won her reelection in 2010 by 25 points.
With all the usual caveats about the difficulty in judging special elections, Hahn's relative weakness as a Democrat in a very blue district shows that with the right candidate, the GOP could find an opportunity. Local media has remained focused on Hahn's involvement in a controversial "gang intervention" program, so the issue may still be alive in just over a year's time when she has to run for reelection. Or, given the attention of a national campaign in a blue state with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket, Hahn could receive Harman levels of support next fall.