Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Councilwoman-elect Nury Martinez named caretaker for district

Nury Martinez

Nury Martinez Campaign

Nury Martinez finished well behind Cindy Montañez in the primary, but stormed back to win Tuesday's general election for a vacant San Fernando Valley City Council seat.

One day after her comeback victory, Councilwoman-elect Nury Martinez was named the official caretaker of the Los Angeles City Council's Sixth District while she waits to be sworn into office. 

The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-0 to name Martinez the chief deputy of the San Fernando Valley's Sixth District pending certification of her win over Cindy Montañez. Unofficial results from the City Clerk's office show Martinez winning the district with 54 percent of the vote. 

It was a stunning loss for Montañez, who placed first in the May primary with 43 percent of the vote in a field of six opponents. In that race, Montanez received 7,241 votes, yet in yesterday's runoff she received just 4,093 votes. Her defeat came even with a fundraising advantage —  $535,000 compared to Martinez's $290,000. 

“This is unbelievable in my view," said Council President Herb Wesson at the end of Wednesday's city council meeting. "Given my 800 years of experience where it relates to campaigning, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. I think it was because you had a candidate that was prepared to bleed and did bleed."

Wesson went onto congratulate the political machine of Councilman Felipe Fuentes, state Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Tony Cardenas, all of whom supported Martinez. Wesson — and Mayor Eric Garcetti — had endorsed Montañez. 

"I have to compliment you [and] my brothers Alex and Big Tone," Wesson said. 

Turnout in the race was 10 percent — a total of 9,110 people, according to the City Clerk's office, though that figure may increase as provisional and absentee ballots are counted. Fuentes said competitive campaigns are good for the electorate. 

“It’s terribly important for them to be very hard fought because our residents, our constituents, Los Angeles deserves no less," Fuentes said.

The Sixth District has been without representation since Cardenas joined Congress in January. It is not yet known when Martinez will be sworn into office. Of the city's 18 elected positions, Martinez will be the only woman in office.

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