Much has been made of Francisco “Paco” Barragan’s “spoiler” role in the AD-69 race. Some claimed his presence would steal Santa Ana Latino votes from Santa Ana councilwoman Michele Martinez. Others said he’d draw support from labor activist Julio Perez. In the end, Barragan’s vote total didn’t significantly impact either of the other Democrats in the race. In fact, Daly topped all three combined.
Barragan is a man of strong moral character and integrity. He’s exactly the sort of person you want in elective office – a terrible liar who would tell you the truth no matter how much it might hurt to hear while offering ideas and plans to fix what’s broken. And while the door has closed for him in the State Assembly race, has the window opened for him to run for a spot on the Santa Ana city council?
Barragan’s slogan might be “I am Santa Ana and Santa Ana needs lots of work before it’s truly great.” And he’d back that up with detailed plans on how to make it happen.
Barragan’s integrity, ability to dissect financial reports, and his communication skills to translate what budget numbers mean to the common voter and resident of the city would make him an appealing candidate for office. If memory serves me correctly, Barragan’s residency in the city’s third ward would pit him against Republican Carlos Bustamante if the councilman decides to throw his hat into the ring for another term on the city council. Bustamante’s ethical baggage from his resignation of his county management position would be enormous compared to Barragan who has a tireless advocate for ethics and transparency in a city council that needs to walk the walk to match the talk the talk in open government.
Barragan’s last place finish in this race did one thing positive. It raised his profile and name ID before voters in Santa Ana.
We have no doubt Barragan’s skills could be a tremendous advantage to a city looking for every angle to continue digging out of the large financial hole it has, and despite the “balanced budget” approved for this year, it’s a budget filled with gaps and gimmicks that kick the can down the road until next year. Paco reads the blogs and it appears he’s going to need some convincing to run. So if you think he’s exactly the sort of person Santa Ana needs to transform its city council to a body truly responsive to its residents (watch them during public comments and see who’s actually listening), then let Paco know about it in the comments here.