Essel, Krekorian in LA City Council runoff

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Former Paramount Pictures executive Christine Essel has forced a run-off in the race to represent parts of the San Fernando Valley on the Los Angeles City Council.

In her first run for public office, the well-funded Essel captured 28 percent of the vote. She finished second behind the better known Paul Krekorian, a Democratic state assemblyman who received 34 percent.

The two will face each other in a December run-off for the second district seat on the L.A. City Council. Wendy Greuel gave up the seat after she won her race for city controller.

The district stretches from Sherman Oaks to Studio City to Sunland Tujunga. Essel and Krekorian only moved into it in May, prompting charges of carpetbagging from some of the eight other candidates in the race.

The L.A. city clerk says turnout was extraordinarily low in the special election. About 12 percent of 123,000 registered voters bothered to cast ballots.