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Paul Krekorian Wins Election for Los Angeles' Council District 2

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In a landslide, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian defeat former film executive Chris Essel in race for Los Angeles' Council District 2 seat, which covers a large portion of the San Fernando Valley. Outspent three to one--nearly $2 million was raised for Essel--Krekorian pulled a 13-point lead with all precincts reporting before midnight.

"The reform of Los Angeles begins tonight," Krekorian declared to a packed crowd at his North Hollywood campaign headquarters off Victory Boulevard. "It's not just a victory for me, this really is a victory for all of us and the kind of democracy that we all want to believe can happen."

The campaign party was not flashy (not even music played in the background). Fluorescent office lights lit the excited crowd, which as the night played on, became a who's who of campaign volunteers and community leaders of the Valley.

"This was a rag tag group of 20-year-olds who took on the most expensive campaign in the history of the city of L.A. and not only did we win, we sent a message to everyone that you can't buy an election," said Krekorian's campaign manager, Areen Ibranossian. "This is about the people."

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The race, which became heated with rhetoric, special interest money, ethical and legal challenges and even racism, was exceptionally nasty. A few anti-Essel cat-calls as Krekorian gave his victory speech prompted him to put his hand up and sternly tell people to stop. He reached out to Essel and the other nine candidates from the primary election, acknowledging that the race's negativity is the past and that now is the time for everyone to focus together as one district.

For Larry Gross, Executive Director the renters and tenants rights group, Coalition for Economic Survival, Krekorian's win made him relaxed. "This is a good night for the Valley and it's a good night for the city," he said with a sigh of relief.

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