Bernard Parks challenger says she has him 'on the ropes'

Bernard Parks
Bernard Parks
via www.bernardparks.com

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It's a cliffhanger, but Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks on Wednesday declared victory in his re-election bid. His main challenger, Forescee Hogan-Rowles, is saying ‘not-so-fast.'

Parks needs a majority of the vote to avoid a runoff.

The City Clerk’s unofficial election results show Parks with 50.89 percent of the vote. That’s about 140 votes above the majority threshold of the votes counted so far.

But the City Clerk doesn’t know exactly how many absentee and provisional ballots still have to be tallied in Parks' 8th council district. Citywide, there are 33,000 absentee and 9,000 provisional ballots.

Hogan-Rowles, who came in second with 43 percent of the vote, estimated as many as 3,900 ballots remain uncounted in the race. In a statement, she said she had the incumbent councilman and one-time police chief “on the ropes,” and declared she was “in position to force a runoff.”

The Parks camp estimates less than 1,000 ballots remain to be counted, and that Hogan-Rowles would have to win 70 percent of them to force a runoff. A Parks spokesperson called that "highly unlikely."

Still, Parks canceled a victory news conference scheduled for early Wednesday.