Column: LA Election Results Remain Tight, Close & Competitive Come the Fall Runoffs!

By Nick Antonicello

The results for the June 7th Primary continue to trickle-in with not much change: 

  • In that special runoff primary for the legislature to succeed Autumn Burke, Democratic activist Tina McKinnor has expanded her lead, with 30,721 to Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles 27,558. Even though Pullen-Miles is winning the primary for the new term, it will be a blow for his campaign financially if McKinnor assumes the remainder of Burke’s term which seems apparent, and thus he would be challenging an incumbent of sorts. 
    •  Editor’s Note: Tina McKinnor won the runoff vacancy for Burke’s unexpired term
  • Sheriff Alex Villanueva is holding firm at 30.86% to Long Beach Chief Robert Luna’s 25.88%. In the raw vote, Villanueva leads 443,789 to 372,245 but the rest of the field will probably endorse Luna which leaves Villanueva fighting for his political life in places not Venice. 
  • In the race for LA Mayor US Representative Karen Bass continues to grow her lead over developer Rick Caruso, 42.87% to 36.33%. That is bad news for Caruso unless he can pickup the support of Kim Vignola and some others to offset the support of Bass by Mike Feuer as well as Kevin de Leon. Again, this will be a nail-biter come the fall with a slight advantage to Bass. 
  • In the very interesting race for LA City Attorney, it has tightened considerably with Faisal Gill still in the lead with 23.86% (130,892) with Marina Torres, who many believed was the frontrunner holding on for dear life at 19.94% (109,287) as Hydee Feldstein-Soto is surging with 19.90% of the vote (109,114), just 173 votes out of second to qualify for the runoff.Read my piece on Hydee in www.yovenice.com where she was impressive, capable, qualified, bilingual and ready-to-serve! 
  • In the race to succeed Mike Bonin in the 11th CD, Venice native and tenant protections attorney Erin Darling is increasing his share of the vote (34.56%) as well as the lead with 22,036. I’m shocked by his showing given the money advantage (10-1) of Traci Park and getting into the contest so late. The low turnout (less than 20%) was also shocking given the avalanche of direct mailings and money spent in the June 7th Primary. Venice employment attorney Traci Park remains in second with 29.11% of the vote or 18,561. Greg Good, who enjoyed heavy labor support and the endorsement of the LA Democratic Party remains in third with 9.9% of the vote or 6,315. Allison Holdorff-Polhill remains fourth with 8.69% of the vote or 5,540 and Venice attorney, Dad and former VNC President Mike Newhouse is at 7.1% or 4,526 votes. Bringing up the rear is VNC President Jim Murez with 4.99% or 3,180 and Westchester Republican/Conservative Mat Smith, a US combat veteran with 3.96% or 2,526 votes. Coming in last is Venice HS teacher and former track coach Soni Lloyd who spent no money and received 1.69% of the vote or 1,079. Almost as stunning as the Darling first-place finish with a Mike Bonin endorsement no less is just what happened to the some 26,000 who signed the petition to recall Mike Bonin? How many of these recall signers even bothered to vote? It seems they were content getting Bonin out of the race, but not that interested or motivated to select his successor, leaving that to those who did vote. So the challenge for both Darling and Park is how do you get to 50.1% come November? For Darling, some 65% of voters did not select him on June 7th and he needs to figure out how he gets that additional 15% to his total. In the case of Park, some 70% did not vote for her in the primary and she needs to find about 21% to win come November in a race where literally every vote counts. For even the endorsement of Soni Lloyd and his 1,079 votes could be the difference between victory and defeat. That moderate/middle vote of both AHP and Newhouse accounts for roughly 10,000 votes, and that again could be the place where the two finalists mine for support. While Good’s 6,315 votes are a third-place finish which had to be outright embarrassing, sources tell me he won’t endorse Park or Darling at least at this time and many expect a chunk of that vote to transfer to Darling as being the most progressive and positioned best for Good’s labor money and Democratic Party support. Murez is the only candidate expected at this point to support Park of the six as the conservative Smith has endorsed Caruso for mayor, but remains uncommitted at this time in the council run-off.  

With lot’s of time between now and fall, anything can happen moving forward. 

Nick Antonicello is a regular contributor on issues of community and politics and how they impact the this neighborhood. He can be reached via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com.

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