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LA County Sheriff Results: Sheriff Villanueva Concedes Race To Robert Luna. What's Next For LASD?

Robert Luna and Alex Villanueva appear in side-by-side images facing each other. Luna has a gray mustache and wears a dark suit and tie. Villanueva has a dark suit jacket with a sheriff's pin but no tie, and his top button is unbuttoned. Both have slicked-back hair.
Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna (L) and L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva at their respective election night parties on Nov. 8, 2022.
(Trevor Stamp
for LAist)

Live Results

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva conceded Tuesday that he had lost his bid for reelection to former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.

After Tuesday's vote update, Luna has opened up a 20-point lead over Villanueva.

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In a statement on Twitter Tuesday, Luna said he is "deeply honored and humbled that you have elected me as your next sheriff."

He added: "[y]ou have entrusted me with a clear mandate to bring new leadership and accountability to the Sheriff's Department. And that's exactly what I will do." He will take office in the first week of December.

At times choking up with emotion at his news conference, a defiant Villanueva pointed to a list of accomplishments and rehashed his grievances with the Board of Supervisors, the Inspector General, the media, and former employees who have accused him of misconduct.

He said that over the past four years his department faced more challenges “than the prior 50 years,” listing the pandemic, the George Floyd protests, the “defunding movement,” wildfires, rising homelessness and violent crime.

“We met the challenges,” he said, noting accomplishments such as his removal of federal immigration agents from the jails, the deployment of body-worn cameras, and his efforts to reduce the jail population during the pandemic, among others.

“I want to wish the incoming Sheriff well,” Villanueva said. “I want him to succeed for a simple reason: The safety of the community depends on him succeeding.”

Luna will lead the largest sheriff's department in the nation. It is a much-troubled agency currently under investigation by the California Department of Justice over allegations of a pattern of civil rights violations, including excessive use of force and false arrests. The sheriff runs the county jail system, which houses more than 15,000 inmates. A federal judge has asked for a plan to address excessive use of force by deputies in the jails.

Here's L.A. County's schedule for the release of new vote totals
  • Estimated time of the following releases is between 4- 5 p.m.

  • Tue, Nov. 22 | Fri, Nov. 25 | Tue, Nov. 29 |Fri, Dec. 2

  • And if needed, Monday, Dec. 5

  • The vote count as of Nov. 18:

    • 2,441,323 ballots have been processed and counted
    • 80% of those were mail-in ballots
    • 20% voted in person
  • Still to be counted:

    • Vote by Mail ballots: 22,200
    • Conditional Voter Registration ballots: 3,000
    • Provisional ballots: 50

About The Candidates

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Alex Villanueva

The race is considered to be a referendum on Villanueva. Four years ago, he was a retired lieutenant who scored an upset victory over incumbent Jim McDonnell. Villanueva promised to be a progressive reformer but he ended up becoming a darling of Fox News.

Robert Luna

Robert Luna spent 38 years with the Long Beach Police Department, the last seven as chief. He retired in 2021. He has promised to work more cooperatively with the Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission than the notoriously combative Villanueva.

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A Note On The Results

  • Keep in mind that in tight races particularly, the winner may not be determined for days or weeks after Election Day. In L.A. County, the first batch of results released includes vote by mail ballots received before Election Day, followed by early votes cast at vote centers before Election Day, then votes cast in-person on Election Day. This process is expected to wrap up in the early hours of Nov. 9. Then, additional results will be released following a schedule you can see on the county's site. In California, ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 8 are counted toward the results as long as they arrive within seven days of the election. Results must be certified by county election officials by Dec. 8.

Tracking Your Ballot

You can track the status of your ballot:

If your mail-in ballot is rejected for any reason (like a missing or mismatched signature), your county registrar must contact you to give you a chance to fix it. In Los Angeles County, the registrar will send you a notification by mail and you have until Nov. 28 to reply and "cure" your ballot.

How We're Covering This Election

  • Early voters and mail-in ballots have fundamentally reshaped how votes are counted and when election results are known.

  • 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.

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