Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council special election slated for May at $400K cost

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via cd6.lacity.org

L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas has been elected to Congress. The special election to fill his seat will cost the city about $400,000.

A special election to fill the vacancy that will be left by Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas’ move to Congress will cost the city about $400,000, according to a report from the city clerk.

The Sixth District seat will open too late to make it onto the March 2013 ballot. The City Clerk's office said there needs to be reasonable notice for prospective candidates to meet residency requirements and organize their campaigns.

The estimate assumes the primary for Cardenas' seat will be held on May 21, 2013, which is the runoff date for the mayor’s race, as well as city attorney, controller and eight city council seats. If the CD 6 primary isn't held on that day, the estimate will increase to well over $1 million. 

The report states: “The $400,000 cost is based upon the number of precincts in CD 6 and presumes an estimated 15 to 20 candidates filing papers to run, normal at-poll voting methodology, and the necessity of administering both the primary and runoff elections."

A runoff for the San Fernando Valley seat will likely be held on July 23. The winner will fill out a term that extends to 2015.

Last week, Cardenas was elected to represent the eastern part of the San Fernando Valley in Congress. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2013. According to his office, he has until Jan. 2, 2013 to resign his city council seat. Until then, he'll continue to draw his council salary.

Once Cardenas resigns, the chief legislative analyst will act as a caretaker for the district until a new council person is elected. Cardenas' staff is expected to remain in place in that interim, though the district will not have a vote in council matters.

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on the funding allocation next Wednesday. 

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