Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

At least two LA council races are headed for a runoff

Former state Sen. Gil Cedillo may be in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.
Former state Sen. Gil Cedillo may be in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.
Sharon McNary/KPCC
Former state Sen. Gil Cedillo may be in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.
Jose Gardea is hoping the final ballot count will keep him in a runoff for L.A.'s First Council District.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

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Eighty-three votes.

That's how close veteran politician Gil Cedillo came to avoiding a runoff in his race Tuesday for L.A's First Council District.

There were almost 13,400 votes cast in the race, either in-person or by mail. Cedillo won 49.37% of the votes, his main opponent, José Gardea, garnered 43.28%. The third person on the ballot, perennial candidate Jesse Rosas, won 7.33% of the votes, enough to force a runoff on May 21.


Seems there are votes still to be counted — more than 90,000 citywide provisional or mail ballots that were received in the past few days.

It's unknown how many of those are from CD1, but Cedillo's camp is hoping he'll gain enough votes to get him across the 50% threshold and avoid a runoff. His campaign also has the option of requesting a recount after all the votes are counted. 

If there is a runoff, could Rosas' endorsement make a diference? Rosas says he’s leaning toward one candidate to endorse, but wouldn’t say whom. He says he wants to be asked for his endorsement.

Another council race headed for a runoff is for the 13th District seat being vacated by Eric Garcetti. Former Garcetti council aide Mitch O’Farrell led the 12 candidates with 18,44% of the vote, followed by former Public Works Commissioner John Choi, who got 16.47%. Choi, who was backed by labor and more than $209,000 in independent expenditures, could become L.A.'s second-ever Asian American councilman and its first Korean-American.

In the South L.A. District 9 seat being vacated by Jan Perry, State Sen. Curren Price is headed for a runoff against Ana Cubas, a former aide to current councilman José Huizar. Price won 27.22% of the vote and Cubas 23.96%.

If Cubas were to win the runoff, she would become the district’s first non-African-American council member since 1963. Born in El Salvador, Cubas could also become the first Central American to serve on L.A.'s city council. 

The historically African-American Ninth District has become increasingly Latino in the past two decades. There will be pressure on black candidates who didn't make the runoff, Mike Davis and David Roberts, to throw their support behind Price. The woman who preceded Perry in the office, Rita Walters, is backing Cubas. 

State Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, who was re-elected to the legislature just last November, will represent District 3 by getting 52 percent of the vote. 

Another former Assemblyman, Felipe Fuentes, also avoided a runoff in the 7th District. In the race to succeed outgoing Councilman Richard Alarcón, Fuentes got 52 percent of the votes.

Mike Bonin, chief of staff to Councilman Bill Rosendahl, easily won election in the 11th District by getting 61 percent of the vote. Bonin decided to run for the seat after Rosendahl’s cancer treatments dashed his hopes of a third term of office.

In the 5th and 25th districts, Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino were easily reelected.