LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Democratic Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn defeated Republican businessman Craig Huey in today’s special election in the 36th Congressional District.

Hahn had 56.8 percent of the vote to 43.2 percent for Huey with 127 of 261 precincts, 48.66 percent, according to figures released by the Los Angeles County Department of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

The special election was necessitated by the Feb. 28 resignation of Rep. Jane Harman to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Hahn’s victory prompted Pat McOsker, the president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles, to declare his candidacy for Hahn’s council seat.

Hahn had represented a council district that stretches from the Port of Los Angeles to Watts since 2001. Huey owns a direct-mail advertising business and publishes online voter guides for Christians.

Both candidates campaigned heavily on job creation but disagree about how to stimulate job growth. Hahn said she would push for expanded federal funding to support the clean energy industry and for job training for laid-off workers. Huey argued for lower taxes and reducing federal regulations on businesses.

Hahn was widely expected to run away with the race for the predominantly Democratic district.

Democrats in the 36th District–which includes Marinadel Rey, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, El Segundo and portions of West Los Angeles–hold an 18-point registration advantage over Republicans.

However, Huey spent nearly $800,000 of his own money on the campaign and he rallied conservatives and Tea Party activists to work on his behalf.

Over the last month the campaign took on a nastier tone, with the two sides battling over the extent of Hahn’s involvement with Watts gang intervention workers who were convicted of violent crimes. Hahn’s camp accused Huey campaign volunteers of distributing copies of a 2006 Fox 11 story that tried to link Hahn with the use of taxpayer money to pay for gang interventionists–a report denounced by the Hahn campaign.

Huey campaign spokesman Jimmy Camp accused the Hahn campaign of sending out a false mailer depicting Huey as the owner of a mansion and a yacht.

“Craig’s never seen that house. He lives in a small, ranch-style home,” Camp said. “It’s gotten pretty nasty, but campaigns are nasty.”