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Ballot Box: Cedillo leading in Council District 1 election; O’Farrell ahead in Council District 13 tally

Mar 5, 2013
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flag* Updated @ 1:09 a.m., Wednesday, March 6

Former Public Works Commissioner John Choi and former city council deputy Mitch O’Farrell appear to be headed to a run-off election to replace termed-out Eric Garcetti as councilman of the 13th District based on the most recent but not yet final results from Tuesday’s voting. Meanwhile, in the 1st Council District, former state legislator Gil Cedillo maintained a small lead over prime rival Jose Gardea, according to unofficial results posted by the City Clerk at 12:42 p.m. The votes from more than 85% of the precincts in Tuesday’s election have been reported. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, a run off election will be held May 21 between the two top vote getters.

In the mayoral race, Garcetti, a Silver Lake resident, emerged ahead of Wendy Greuel but both are expected to face each other in the run-off election.

Meanwhile, back in Council District 1 and 13, the large amount of money that poured into some of the candidates’ campaigns did not bring overwhelming victory.

The candidates who received large amounts of financial support from independent groups funded by unions and business failed to emerge with substantially larger number of votes than their chief rivals, based on the figures in the City Clerk’s most recent update. For example, Cedillo’s campaign expenses and the money spent by independent groups who supported him totaled nearly $738,000, which is $300,000 more than the Gardea campaign and his supporters poured into the election. While Cedillo was close to winning 50% of the vote needed to avoid a runoff, he was still only a few percentage points ahead of Gardea, based on unofficial results with nearly 90% of precincts reporting.

In Council District 13, the $141,000 in campaign expenses and independent expenditures on behalf of O’Farrell does not even come close to the $552,159 spent on the Choi campaign or the $319,810 spent on behalf of Alexander Cruz De Ocampo. Yet, O’Farrell maintained a slim lead over Choi in late election results, with both men each garnering about 16% of the vote. With nearly 87% of precincts counted, Ocampo had garnered less than 11% of the vote, trailing behind such candidates as Josh Post and Sam Kbushyan, whose combined campaign expenditures fell below what had been spent on Ocampo.

Results reported on Wednesday, March 6 at 12:42 a.m. with 89% of Council District 1 precincts reporting.

The campaign to replace termed-out Councilman Ed Reyes was dominated by two players: Jose Gardea, who has served as Reyes’ Chief of Staff, and former state senator Gil Cedillo. While Gardea is familiar to many neighborhood activists and had an early lead in fundraising, unions and their independent political committees poured money into the campaign in support of Cedillo.

Results reported on Wednesday, March 6 at 12:42 a.m. with 87% of Council District 13 precincts reporting.

The race for Council District 13, which includes Atwater, Echo Park, Silver Lake and portions of Hollywood, features a field of a dozen candidates, split between a long-time activist and newcomers who had recently moved into the district.Former public works commissioner John Choi emerged as a top contender with the financial backing of unions and other supporters. Nearly $2 million was spent by the dozen candidates and independent political groups.

Jeffrey Turner/Flickr

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