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Nithya Raman Wins LA City Council Seat, Unseating Incumbent David Ryu

Nithya Raman attends Hollywood's Change Makers on March 12, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Marie Claire)
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Nithya Raman, the progressive challenger for incumbent David Ryu's seat on L.A.'s City Council District 4, has won.

After four days of vote count updates, Ryu provided a statement at 5 p.m. on Friday, conceding the election:

"The voters of District Four have spoken, and I respect the outcome of this election. I am proud of the race we ran, and I will always be proud of the diverse coalition behind this campaign ... I congratulate my opponent on her victory. Having won on a wave of reform five years ago, I know how difficult it is to implement change in City Hall. I wish her success in continuing our shared goal of reform in local government and in serving our City."

As of Friday afternoon, Raman was leading Ryu by a little over 5,900 votes, and she has won about 52% of the votes cast in the district. Because the city moved its council races to coincide with the national election cycle, this contest saw an unprecedented turnout, with more than 120,000 votes counted so far.

The 4th District includes Laurel Canyon, Toluca Lake, Los Feliz, Larchmont, Hancock Park and parts of Silver Lake, Koreatown, Hollywood and Sherman Oaks. The race centered around homelessness and campaign ethics.

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Council President Nury Martinez welcomed Raman to the council today.

"Congratulations to Councilwoman-Elect Nithya Raman on her victory in Council District 4," she said in a press release. "I know she will contribute to the diversity of perspectives on our City Council, and I look forward to working with her in strengthening our City.”

Raman is newcomer to politics, but managed to capture the progressive sector of Angelenos in her district. An urban planner and co-founder of the outreach organization SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition, Raman was previously the executive director of Time's Up Entertainment. (Read Raman's full biography on her campaign website.)