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Everything you need as you prepare to vote — study our interactive guides, ask questions, print your sample ballot and more.

City Controller Results: Paul Koretz Acknowledges Loss To Kenneth Mejia

Live Results

Thousands of ballots are still being counted in L.A. County — but some candidates aren't waiting for the final tally.

City Controller candidate Kenneth Mejia declared victory shortly after first results came in on Tuesday night, which showed him ahead of opponent Paul Koretz by 23 percentage points. On Wednesday, Koretz acknowledged defeat to the L.A. Times, saying, "I’m clearly not going to win at this point." He stopped short of formally announcing he's conceding in the race, which he says may never come.

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"It’s not like people are waiting to hear from the candidates for controller," he told the Times.

The race for controller got more attention than usual this election. City controllers are watchdogs tasked with auditing city spending, so it’s a role associated with accountability and transparency. Public interest in knowing where the city spends most has grown, and candidates used this momentum to bring budget priorities about policing and housing to the forefront. The race outcome could be a harbinger for the future of progressive politics in L.A.

Controllers don’t have a lot of direct power, but they can influence public perception by putting a spotlight on powerful officials or agencies, and cranking up the heat.

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About The Candidates

Paul Koretz

Paul Koretz represents District 5 on the L.A. City Council (which includes communities on the Westside and southern and central San Fernando Valley). His term ends this year, making him ineligible to run for city council again. He's had a long career in local and state government and had a wide lead in fundraising. Koretz was in hot water this year for complaints about campaign ethics violations. If he was elected, he would have moved into a role that’s responsible for auditing his soon-to-be former colleagues.

Want more: Read in our guide about Paul Koretz

Kenneth Mejia

Kenneth Mejia is a Koreatown resident and accountant who previously worked for Ernst and Young. He’s volunteered with several housing and homelessness advocacy groups. Mejia’s viewed as an outsider politician because he’s active in progressive social justice movements and protests at City Hall. He’s drawn criticism for deleted tweets calling then-presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump “sexual predators.” Mejia argued that his experience as an accountant is what makes him the better fit for controller.

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Want more: Read in our guide about Kenneth Mejia

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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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