Parks, Ridley-Thomas Headed for Runoff in LA County Supervisor's Race

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Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks and State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas are headed for a runoff in November. Neither got a majority of votes for county supervisor. Ridley-Thomas fell shy at 45%; Parks received 40%. KPCC's Frank Stoltze has more.

Frank Stoltze: Speaking to supporters at his Crenshaw District campaign headquarters, Parks said he was pleased with his performance given organized labor's multi-million dollar campaign against him.

Bernard Parks: We have had some uphill battles during the campaign. They've thrown everything at us but the kitchen sink, and we're still here. We're still here. (cheering)

Stoltze: Labor unions spent nearly four million dollars trying to defeat Parks in one of the biggest independent expenditure campaigns in county history. Ridley-Thomas told supporters at an election night party at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel that he was proud of labor's support. And grateful.

Mark Ridley-Thomas: A big round of applause to Maria Elena Durazo, the leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Come on, give her some love. Give that alliance some love. I want the alliance...

Stoltze: Voter turnout for this election was about 20%. Turnout's expected to be as much as three times that for the November runoff, when voters will also be casting ballots for president. Parks' chief strategist John Shallman said that favors his candidate.

John Shallman: Councilmember Parks has been a chief, he's been a councilmember, he's been really well known among voters who probably didn't participate in this election, but will in November.

Stoltze: Ridley-Thomas countered that his strong support for Barack Obama would help him in November. Parks also supports Obama, and showed pictures of him and the Illinois senator in campaign literature. Parks and Ridley-Thomas are vying for the seat held by County Supervisor Yvonne Burke. She retires next year.