Early Election Results: Mayor Villaraigosa Reelected, Measure B Barely Loses
With an extremely weak voter turnout, yesterday's election ended with not-so-surprising final results, but did have some interesting numbers. The following is based on results posted by the City Clerks Office at 1:46 a.m. with 99.94% of precincts reporting.
Only 239,374, or 15%, of the 1,596,165 registered voters in the city of Los Angeles turned out. "There was an election today?" one LAist reader wrote on Twitter. And that sentiment was almost like a theme--another reader asked "today was the election for the MAYOR? All I do is watch local news. How did I miss this?" In the same city primary in 2005, 377,699 voters came to the polls.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was reelected with about 55.5 percent of the total votes. A 5% difference would have put the mayoral race into a runoff. Attorney Walter Moore, who received 2.7% in 2005, was the runner up with 26% of the vote. The lower than expected numbers for Villaraigosa now has some speculating his unconfirmed run for Governor will now be a tougher battle. The mayoral ballot had ten challengers.
Villaraigosa ally, City Attorney candidate and current Councilmember Jack Weiss will face off with Carmen "Nuch" Tutanich--the guy with that insanely slick commercial--on the May 19th ballot. Weiss, who like the Mayor, refused to show up at debates.
And unlike Weiss, Councilmember Wendy Greuel sailed to victory for City Controller. She faced opposition from longtime political figure Nick Patsaoras and Kathleen "Suzy" Evans. Although Patsaoras was considered to be Greuel's biggest competitor and was mentioned in an attack ad, Evans was the runner up.
In Council District 5, which includes parts of the Valley, Westside, Hollywood and the Santa Monica Mountain range, six candidates vied for the spot. Two will go to the May 19th runoff: former Assemblyman Paul Koretz and David T. Vehedi.
The most heated debate on the ballot was over the controversial Measure B, the solar power/green jobs initiative pushed by Villaraigosa and the union behind the Department of Water and Power. It lost by a slim 1,325 votes, which makes it too hard to call with 100% certainty.
However, both sides during the night did claim victory. First, the Yes on Measure B side e-mailed a press release announcing their victory around 11:38 p.m. Perhaps an error on their part, but soon after, their lead turned sour. The grassroots No on Measure B campaign plans to hold a press conference this morning to announce a call to action regarding their own version of the solar plan. "There's no 'winners and losers' in the Measure B race," explained Stephen Box, the opposition's campaign director. "There's simply the opportunity for us to move ahead with a real innovative and inclusive solar plan." With all that said, the City Clerks Office will come out with the final and official results soon enough, putting to rest the results on this measure.
Measure E, an economic incentive for businesses, was the only other measure to lose. Measures A, C & D passed.
All odd numbered council districts were up, and save for the aforementioned 5th District, incumbents won with ease.
Three LA Unified School District and four LA Community College District seats were up as well. Incumbents Miguel Santiago and Kelly Candaele won outright and Angela Reddock and Nancy Pearlman--also incumbents--will go to a runoff. Steve Zimmer won the LAUSD District 4 seat (vacated by Marlene Canter), but the race for District 6 (vacated by Julie Korenstein) was extremely close with Nury Martinez leading Louis Pugliese by 482 votes and gaining the victory outright.