Election Update in the County of the Angels

The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters counted a bunch of ballots on election night, but on Wednesday, June 8, there were still somewhere over ½ million to be received and counted – the County did not know exactly how many.  Over a week later, some candidates are still waiting to see if they won or made the runoff.  Those hanging out around the water cooler used to make fun of people involved in campaigns who scheduled a vacation immediately after the election. Now, it almost makes sense to leave town immediately – you may get a full week’s vacation before you need to declare victory (or congratulate your opponent).

As updates have come in, some interesting results caught our eye.  Congresswoman Karen Bass took the lead from developer Rick Caruso.  As of Tuesday’s update* Bass was leading Caruso 41.05% – 38.29%.  As Calpeek previously discussed, Caruso spent significantly more – about $1 million per percentage point compared to Bass’ approximately $100,000 per percentage point.  Bass finished Tuesday night with additional good news – the L.A. County Democratic Party, which did not endorse any candidate in the primary, threw their support to her.  Apparently, party members were not swayed by Caruso’s change of party affiliation to Democrat in January.  Despite stamping “Democrat” on most of his campaign mailers, Caruso did not even seek the party’s endorsement.  

The vote tally update also showed that incumbent Los Angeles City Council candidates fell behind some of their challengers.  As Calpeek readers know, beating an incumbent is very difficult and very rare.  2022 elections may show that sometimes incumbents are vulnerable.  

Public Policy Advocate Eunisses Hernandez is leading L.A. Councilmember Gil Cedillo 50.65% – 49.35%.  Labor/Community Organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez is leading L.A. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell 38.35% – 33.88%

The “close but no cigar award” will be split between incumbent L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang, who could only manage 49.48% of the vote, and Katy Young Yaroslavsky (daughter-in-law to former L.A. Councilmember and former Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky), who will be in a run-off unless she can improve from her 49.35% of the vote.

In the always interesting race for L.A. County Sheriff, incumbent Alex Villanueva is in a run-off with Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.  Although Villanueva’s campaign stated they would receive over 50% of the vote and avoid a run-off, many in L.A. County know the incumbent Sheriff’s statements should often be double checked.  

*Another update is expected today.

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