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California Primary Election Results: Who Won, Who Lost, And Who's Going To A Runoff

A row of voting booths are beyond a white sign with a U.S. flag and the word "vote."
Voting booths inside the Union Station vote center during the California Primary Election in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
(Trevor Stamp
for LAist)
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It’s been a minute, but the June 7, 2022 primary election results have finally been certified. You can view the full results at the L.A. County registrar’s website, but here’s a quick snapshot of how L.A. voted and where things stand heading into the November general election:

Turnout was pretty low (but not as low as it initially seemed). All in all, about 1.62 million Angelenos cast their ballots for the June primary, making for a 28.4% turnout.

It’s a lackluster figure, but not nearly as low as it looked during the early returns. For some historical context, primary elections tend to have lower turnout than general elections. L.A. County turnout was 38.3% in the 2020 primaries and 74.6% in the general. During the 2014 primaries primary turnout was a mere 17% (!) and 31% in the general.

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Progressive newcomers made a strong showing. In several races, these candidates showed formidable strength, even against longtime incumbents.

  • Eunisses Hernandez, a community organizer running to represent District 1 of the L.A. City Council, defeated longtime councilmember Gil Cedillo outright, with 54.04% of the vote compared to Cedillo’s 45.96%. In the city and county of Los Angeles, any candidate who wins more than 50% of the vote during the primary wins their seat without having to head to a runoff. Cedillo has served on the City Council for nine years. 
  • Meanwhile in District 13, labor organizer candidate Hugo Soto-Martinez came out on top of the pack with 40.63% of the vote, ahead of incumbent Mitch O’Farrell, who garnered 31.65%. Because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, they’ll both be on the ballot again in November for a runoff.
  • Kenneth Mejia, the L.A. city controller candidate who’s centered much of his campaign on criticizing city spending on the L.A. Police Department, received nearly double the votes of his main opponent, longtime City Councilmember Paul Koretz. They’ll face off in November.
  • Early returns for the L.A. city attorney race showed a very close four-way tie among a pool of seven candidates, but progressive candidate Faisal Gill emerged in first place for the runoff. He’ll run against Hydee Feldstein Soto, who got just 136 votes more than the third-place winner, Marina Torres.  
  • Six seats remain on the ballot for L.A. Superior Court, and five of them involve public defenders running for seats. L.A. County has never elected a public defender to a judicial seat before, so history could be made in November if any of them succeed.

The biggest L.A. races will be heading to a runoff. Despite early speculation that mayoral candidate Rick Caruso could potentially meet the 50% vote threshold to win the seat outright and avoid a runoff, he came in second in the primary with 35.99% of the vote, behind Karen Bass’ 43.11%.

Meanwhile, incumbent county Sheriff Alex Villanueva will be defending his spot as the county’s top law enforcement official against challenger Robert Luna.

Here are a few more races that produced outright winners:

  • L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis handily won her reelection bid to represent District 1.
  • L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang just barely met the 50% threshold to secure a third term in office.
  • L.A. City Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Monica Rodriguez and Curren Price all won reelection.
  • Three candidates won judicial seats for the L.A. Superior Court, leaving the six seats subject to runoff mentioned earlier.

Unfortunately, the November ballot will still be even longer than the primary one. You’ll see a slimmed down list of candidate names for each race, but we’ll have more items on the ballot in the fall.

L.A. will see new elections for water replenishment districts, municipal water agencies and community college district boards. And don’t forget those California statewide ballot measures — we’ll have seven to vote on, including a constitutional amendment on abortion and two measures on legalizing sports betting.

If you have any questions about voting as we head toward November, ask us anything below.