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LA City Council District 10: Former County Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Claims Victory

An illustration shows Mark Ridley-Thomas (left) and Grace Yoo (right) with L.A. City Hall in the background.
(Chava Sanchez
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Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has accepted congratulations on his apparent victory over challenger Grace Yoo for the 10th seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

Ridley-Thomas retweeted Mayor Eric Garcetti, who congratulated both Nithya Raman and Ridley-Thomas. Raman won the 4th district seat after incumbent David Ryu conceded late last week.

The victory marks a return for Ridley-Thomas to the L.A. City Council, where he served from 1991-97. He will be replaced on the Board of Supervisors by state Sen. Holly Mitchell, who defeated City Councilman Herb Wesson in the race for Ridley-Thomas's termed-out seat.

What Was At Stake In This Election

This race has pit the ultimate local political insider against a longtime critic of City Hall.

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L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas probably expected to avoid a runoff during the primary election, but failed to break the threshold of 50%-plus-one back in March. Grace Yoo is a familiar face on the campaign trail -- she also challenged Councilmember Herb Wesson in this district in 2015, and she fought the city's controversial 2012 redistricting process. Yoo took the city to court in 2018 over a real estate project in Koreatown -- and won.

  • Mark Ridley-Thomas has been an L.A. County Supervisor since 2008. Previously he served on the Los Angeles City Council throughout the 1990s and later represented parts of L.A. County in the state Assembly and Senate. (Read Ridley-Thomas' full biography on his campaign website.)
  • Grace Yoo, an attorney and community activist. She is the former executive director of the Korean American Coalition. (Read Yoo's full biography on her campaign website.)

L.A. City Council District 10

District 10 spans areas of central and South Los Angeles, including parts of Koreatown, Wilshire Center, Leimert Park and Baldwin Hills.

African Americans make up the largest percentage of registered voters in the district. About half of the roughly 275,000 residents of District 10 are Latino, one-quarter are Black, Asian residents make up close to 17%, and under 9% are white. Nearly a quarter of district residents live below the federal poverty level. Turnout in the 2016 general election was approximately 59% of registered voters, which lags about 5 points behind the county as a whole.

Former Council President Herb Wesson has represented the district for the past 15 years. (He's termed out and running for L.A. County's 2nd Supervisorial District seat -- the very position Mark Ridley-Thomas is vacating.)

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.