Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-San Pedro. Courtesy photo.

Early results in the race to represent the 44th Congressional District show incumbent Democrat Nanette Diaz Barragán in a lead over her challengers Morris Falls Griffin, a Democrat and maintenance technician, and Paul Jones, a Republican minister.

Barragán has claimed 70% of the vote, or 23,740 votes, while Jones has 22% (7,623 votes) and Griffin has 8% (2,546 votes).

The votes counted so far include all of the vote by mail ballots received by county election officials before Election Day, as well as the in-person votes cast during the early voting period that began on May 29.

Barragán, who was first elected in 2016, was widely expected to win reelection this year.

Redistricting changed the borders of the 44th District, giving it a larger share of Long Beach. The district now includes parts of the city west of Signal Hill and north of Pacific Coast Highway to the city’s boundaries in North Long Beach.

Barragán sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security and chairs its subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations. She also sits on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Barragán raised about $735,000 so far this year, and spent about $314,000, according to OpenSecrets.

Neither of Barragán’s challengers raised any campaign money, according to the Federal Elections Commission.

Turnout in the district was low, like much of the Long Beach area, going into the election. Just 10% of registered voters in the 44th District had voted going into Tuesday, according to the firm Political Data Intelligence.

Anthony Pignataro is an investigative reporter and editor for the Long Beach Post. He has close to three decades of experience in journalism leading numerous investigations and long-form journalism projects for the OC Weekly and other publications. He joined the Post in May 2021.