By Matthew Reagan
The race to represent Northeast Los Angeles in the U.S. House of Representatives was tighter than expected. After a week of counting, incumbent Jimmy Gomez (D), a resident of Eagle Rock, bested his challenger, David Kim (D), an activist and immigration lawyer who lives near MacArthur Park. Gomez won 53% of vote versus 47% for Kim.
Both men support progressive policies in health, climate and higher education, though Kim positioned himself to the left of Gomez and was critical of Gomez’s acceptance of corporate campaign donations.
In claiming victory, Gomez thanked the voters for their “support and confidence” and pledged to continue to fight for progressive policies. He also acknowledged the need to mobilize and listen to voters who supported his opponent.
“Together, we can bring real change to our community and our nation,” Gomez said.
In a post-election interview with The Occidental, Kim also pledged to keep up the fight for progressive policies and, cognizant of his strong showing, suggested that Gomez should adopt some of his proposals. “I look forward to him [Gomez] being the progressive fighter that he says he is,” said Kim.
It’s safe to say that the political stars are on the rise for both men. Gomez is reportedly in the running to be U.S. Trade Representative in the Biden administration, a Cabinet-level position. If he were selected for the post, a special election to fill his House seat would be called by Governor Gavin Newsom — and Kim would be well-positioned to run again.
A game of political musical chairs that could affect NELA is also playing out for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Gov. Newsom will make the appointment. Possible contenders include Xavier Becerra, the California Attorney General and NELA’s former member of Congress; Hilda Solis, the Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration and the current L.A. County Supervisor for NELA; Kevin de León, NELA’s former state Senator and current City Councilmember for Council District 14; and Maria Elena Durzao, a former union leader and NELA’s current state Senator.
For now, NELA politicians and residents alike await decisions from Washington, D.C. and Sacramento that will determine whether key elective offices remain filled by their current occupants or are put back in play in the near future.
Matthew Reagan, a senior at Occidental College, is a founding member of the NELA Neighborhood Reporting Partnership, a collaboration between the Boulevard Sentinel and The Occidental campus newspaper.
Please help the Boulevard Sentinel survive the pandemic.
If you can, please