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News

Garcetti And City Council Incumbents Won Big On Tuesday Night

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti votes for mayor with daughter Maya Garcetti, 5, as Angelenos go to the polls on March 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Angelenos trickled to the polls Tuesday night, handing a landslide reelection victory to Mayor Eric Garcetti and decisive wins to six of the eight City Council members vying to keep their seats. Because this was a primary election, contestants in individual races needed to receive more than 50% of the vote to avoid a runoff race in May.

City Councilmembers Paul Koretz (CD 5), Curren D. Price, Jr. (CD 9), Mike Bonin (CD 11) and Mitch O'Farrell (CD 13) all bested their challengers to keep their seats with more than 50% of the vote. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (CD 3), who was running unopposed, will also obviously keep his seat.

Incumbent Councilmember Gil Cedillo (CD 1) appears to have avoided a runoff against challenger Joe Bray-Ali, a bike activist who got a serious boost after the L.A. Times endorsed him over Cedillo in February. Cedillo is currently at 50.98%; although 100% of precincts have already reported, it remains unclear how many provisional or questioned ballots in the district remain to be tallied, and what their effect could be on the final vote, according to City News Service.

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The northeast San Fernando Valley CD 7 seat—the only open seat in the race—will be decided in a May runoff. The former officeholder, Felipe Fuentes, stepped down in August ten months shy of finishing his term to become a lobbyist because YOLO, I guess. Former Public Works commissioner Monica Rodriguez and City Council planning director Karo Torossian will face off in the May runoff after emerging at the top of the crowded field with 27.7 and 16.35% of the vote, respectively.

Mayor Eric Garcetti won in a landslide of Laurel-Canyon-during-the-rains proportions, receiving a whopping 80.87% of the vote. Mitchell Schwartz, his closest challenger, received a little over 8%. Also of note: 3,196 Angelenos voted for someone who goes by the nickname "Zuma Dogg."

Measure S (a.k.a. That Terrible NIMBY Ballot Measure™) suffered a crushing defeat, receiving a mere 31% of the vote. Measure H, a countywide quarter-cent sales tax to fund homeless services, appears to have received the two-thirds of the vote necessary for it to pass (it's currently at 67.4%) but—like the CD 1 race—it remains too close to call until more of those late ballots come in.

Two of the three seats in contention for the Los Angeles Unified School District board will also be decided in the May runoff. In the board's most closely watched (and heavily funded) race, incumbent school board president Steve Zimmer came about 1500 votes shy of the 50% majority needed to avoid a runoff. Zimmer will continue to compete for his District 4 seat against challenger Nick Melvoin in May. Incumbent Mónica García Kelly won the District 2 race outright with more than 57% of the vote. Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez and Imelda Padilla received the one and two slots in the District 6 race, respectively, and will continue to vie for the seat in May.