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City Council District 4: Nithya Raman Wins Seat From Incumbent David Ryu

An illustration shows David Ryu (left) and Nithya Raman (right) with L.A. City Hall behind them.
(Chava Sanchez
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Votes %
Nithya Raman68,575 52.73%
David Ryu61,464 47.27%
As of 11/10/20

What's At Stake

Incumbent L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu was running for a second term, trying to stave off an energetic progressive challenge from Nithya Raman.

The race was a referendum on business-as-usual at Los Angeles City Hall, with homelessness and campaign ethics taking center stage.

Councilmember David Ryu is the first Korean American to sit on the L.A. City Council. First elected in 2015, he was previously director of development for a large nonprofit psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles. (Read Ryu's full biography on his campaign website.)

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Nithya Raman is an urban planner and co-founder of the outreach organization SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition. Prior to running for office she was the executive director of Time's Up Entertainment. (Read Raman's full biography on her campaign website.)

L.A. City Council District 4

The 4th District includes Laurel Canyon, Toluca Lake, Los Feliz, Larchmont, Hancock Park and parts of Koreatown, Hollywood and Sherman Oaks.

The district is much whiter than the rest of Los Angeles, and voter turnout for the 2016 election was slightly higher (at 70%) than the county as a whole (64%).

David Ryu claimed an upset victory here 2015 when he edged out Carolyn Ramsay, an aide to former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who was termed out. La Bonge had represented the district since 2001, when he won a special election to replace John Ferraro, who was on the city council for 35 years.

Note: 2020 is the first year city council elections are synced up with higher turnout state and national elections held in even years -- the result of a city charter amendment voters passed in 2015.

A Note On The Results

  • Polls close at 8 p.m.
  • The first results released included early voting, including mail-in ballots received before election day. In the past, local election officials have said all votes received and processed by the day before the election (in this case, Monday Nov. 2) are included in the first count. However, the high volume of mail-in ballots may mean that's not the case this election.
  • Keep in mind that in tight races particularly, the winner may not be determined for some time.
  • In California, ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 may be counted toward the results as long as they arrive within 17 days of the election.
  • Results are finalized by county election officials 30 days after election day.

How We're Covering This Election

The unprecedented number of early voters and mail-in ballots this election means it's going to take more time to get votes counted. Our priority will be sharing outcomes and election calls only when they have been thoroughly checked and vetted. To that end, we will rely on NPR and The Associated Press for race calls. We will not report the calls or projections of other news outlets. You can find more on NPR and The AP's process for counting votes and calling races here, here and here.