Results updates: National | State | NPR's Election Board
Los Angeles County voters went to the polls on Tuesday to pick a new sheriff and county assessor, select a successor to Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and decide whether to impose a $23 per parcel tax to fund parks and recreation programs. Much of the county's attention has been focused on the battle between former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver and former state legislator Sheila Kuehl for the Board of Supervisors seat. Radio and TV have been flooded with ads both touting and attacking each of them. Voters in other counties are making their own choices. Check back here frequently once the polls close at 8 p.m. for full results.
- 11:13 p.m. McDonnell claims victory in L.A. County Sheriff's race
- 10:42 p.m. Steel leads Mansoor for Orange County Supervisor
- 10:12 p.m.: Kuehl and Shriver neck and neck as results trickle in
- 9:49 p.m. Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell leads in early returns
- 8 p.m.: Polls close; low turnout expected
- 7:12 p.m. Shriver, McDonnell campaign parties warm up
- 4:42 p.m. Voters tell KPCC why they're going to the polls
11:13 p.m. McDonnell claims victory in L.A. County Sheriff's race
Former Long Beach police chief Jim McDonnell addressed supporters Tuesday night and claimed victory in the race for L.A. County Sheriff, prevailing over former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.
McDonnell calls election a ‘defining moment’ for LA Sheriff’s Department
With rows of L.A. County and city elected officials at his side, McDonnell thanked supporters and voters for making him the L.A. County Sheriff elect.
“We are all at a defining and historic moment for our Sheriff’s Department,” McDonnell said. “A moment when we will have a chance to show our resolve and our commitment to serve with fairness and compassion for all.”
McDonnell, a son of Irish immigrants, said the values of his hardworking parents have guided him throughout his career.
He said he decided to run for Sheriff because he didn’t think change in the LASD could come from within. He sat on a blue-ribbon commission that investigated violence within the jails.
“In past years, the department’s leadership have let down our community as well as our own deputies. Both deserve a new day.”
McDonnell listed top priorities he wants to work on as Sheriff: repair public trust, restore morale in the department, bring more transparency, support mental health jail diversion, and welcome watchful eyes from the community.
“Tomorrow we will begin to put in place a process of positive transformation of the Sheriff’s Department.”
With 23.5 percent of precincts counted, McDonnell retained a commanding 75 percent share of votes cast.
10:42 p.m. Steel leads Mansoor for Orange County Supervisor
Michelle Steel had a sizable lead over Allan Mansoor in the Orange County Board of Supervisors race in District 2, the OC Register reported.
The Republican-leaning district, represented by termed-out supervisor John Moorlach, stretches from Newport Beach to Buena Park.
Steel, who is termed out of her post on the state Board of Equalization, cashed in on her statewide name recognition and out-spent her opponent. Her campaign raised $427,174 this year, according to mid-October reports. The money included a $75,000 loan she made to her campaign in June.
Steel had nearly 62.8 percent of the vote to Mansoor's 37.2 percent, with 212 of 421 precincts counted.
Meanwhile, Lisa Bartlett led Robert Ming in early returns in the District 5 battle over the South County seat now held by Pat Bates, the Register reported.
Bartlett had 56.5 percent of the vote to Ming's 43.5 percent, with 59 of 438 of precincts counted.
10:12 p.m. Kuehl and Shriver neck and neck as results trickle in
It promised to be a long election night for Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver, whose race to fill the Los Angeles County Supervisor seat vacated by Zev Yaroslavsky remained too close to call as results trickled in.
More than two hours after the polls closed, just over 4 percent of precincts had been counted, mostly mail-in votes by residents of the Westside of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder's office.
Kuehl had 51 percent of the vote to Shriver's 49 percent in those early returns.
Shortly before 10 p.m., Shriver appeared at his election night party at The Abbey, an iconic gay bar in the heart of West Hollywood, and shook hands with the crowd. He addressed his supporters — but for less than a minute – thanking his wife and daughter.
"I grew up in a family of strong women, and I married a strong woman," he said. "I’m raising a strong woman and that what it’s all about – your family.”
Shriver ended by telling the crowd he is looking forward to having some drinks and watching the results roll in.
Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas said whoever wins supervisor – Kuehl or Shriver – it will mean more oversight for the Sheriff.
“I think it’s a matter of weeks now before we get on with the business, the long delayed business, of an oversight commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” Ridley Thomas told KPCC at Sheriff's candidate Jim McDonnell's campaign party. “There are three votes on the Board of Supervisors now to make that happen.”
Those votes would be him, incoming supervisor Hilda Solis and either Kuehl or Shriver, both of whom have said they support oversight.
—Alice Walton and Erika Aguilar
9:49 p.m. Sheriff candidate Jim McDonnell leads in early returns
Mainly mail-in ballots have been counted this early, but they show that former Long Beach Police Chief McDonnell is leading the race to replace Sheriff Lee Baca, with about 76 percent of the vote and a little more than 7 percent of precincts reporting.
McDonnell made a grand entrance at his victory party at L.A. Live at 9 p.m., escorted by bagpipes and his family. “The polls have closed, and the initial absentee ballot returns look very good,” McDonnell told the cheering crowd.
McDonnell held back from declaring victory despite his wide margin of lead over Tanaka in early returns. McDonnell told KTLA he planned to "set the tone from the beginning, set expectations and the bar high, measure performance and behavior and hold people accountable, and restore public trust.”
McDonnell thanked his supporters, his family and L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who joined him on stage.
Baca’s departure earlier this year made it easier for McDonnell, who did not have to raise a ton of money to challenge a long-time incumbent.
LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck on Tuesday night praised McDonnell, who spent 30 years at the LAPD, rising to assistant chief, before taking the top job at the Long Beach PD. "Jim's experience implementing the [LAPD] consent decree ... will help him," Beck told KPCC. "The organizations are not identical though. There are going to be many things that he has to lean on insiders for, and so he has to be willing to do that and he will."
McDonnell’s election night party got underway at 7:30 p.m at the Marriott hotel on Olympic Boulevard with entertainment provided by Randy Strom’s jazz band.
The crowd was sort of a who’s-who of law enforcement officials. L.A. Sheriff’s detective division Chief William McSweeny just walked in the door. As did interim Sheriff John Scott, who seemed pretty confident McDonnell would take the election. McDonnell just missed capturing a majority of the vote during the primary election.
“It’s going to be a new era,” said interim L.A. Sheriff John Scott. “He’s the right man at the right time for this.”
When his opponent, retired undersheriff Paul Tanaka, was named during a federal court corruption trial of jail deputies, the race seemed already over. Tanaka has not been charged with any crime, but he mostly sat out the race.
“The moons aligned, so to speak, for Jim McDonnell,” said retired L.A. Sheriff’s deputy George Carroll.
McDonnell has a long list of support and endorsements from people in high places in addition to Scott: Attorney General Kamala Harris, L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe and LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey just to name a few.
8 p.m.: Polls close; low turnout expected
As statewide voting closed around California, analysts are predicting near record-low turnout.
Voters chose a governor Tuesday, selected members of Congress and decided if doctors should be required to take mandatory drug and alcohol tests.
A handful of controversial local issues could push turnout in some counties and cities, but the statewide races failed to generate much buzz.
The Field Poll predicts a 46.1 percent turnout, meaning only 8.2 million of the state's 17.8 million registered voters will cast ballots in the statewide general election. Turnout in June was just 25 percent, a record low for a statewide primary.
—AP with KPCC staff
7:12 p.m.: Shriver, McDonnell campaign parties warm up
The Bobby Shriver campaign started prepping for tonight's election party early.
Before 7 p.m., volunteers fetched rogue helium balloons from the ceiling and taped campaign signs to the mirrored walls at The Abbey, an iconic gay bar in the heart of West Hollywood. That included the mirrors surrounding a large portrait of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, who famously said the Abbey was her "favorite pub."
"We are roaring for Bobby," Jan Reichmann, of Comstock Hills homeowners association, told KPCC as she and other supporters waited for their candidate to appear.
She said his campaign invited her to breakfast with Shriver to learn about her neighborhood — and her thoughts on the Metro subway extension.
"I love that he reached out to us, and we had some pretty badass people there who asked him tough questions, and they loved what he had to say, and we've been connected with this guy from that moment on," Reichmann said. "He cared. He listened, and he shows up. That means a lot to us."
An enormous video screen behind the main bar played a loop of an American flag next to logos for the Shriver and Human Rights campaigns.
As more volunteers arrived, some realized the hundreds of liquor bottles on the bar weren't the best backdrop for a political candidate. "Bobby Shriver" lawn signs were hastily positioned in front of the bottles in an attempt to block them from the view of television cameras.
The mood was upbeat at the election night party of Shriver's rival, Sheila Kuehl, in Santa Monica. As the polls closed across the district, more than a hundred supporters crowded the second floor of the old The Victorian restaurant on Main Street. Kuehl worked the room, shaking hands and thanking people who’d walked precincts or made telephone calls on her behalf. Many sipped wine and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres.
“I’m feeling hopeful,” Laurie Holz of Westwood told KPCC's Frank Stoltze. “Hopefully substance will win out over style.”
4:42 p.m. Voters tell KPCC why they're going to the polls
Los Angeles County voters are picking a new sheriff and county assessor. Voters on the Westside of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley will be selecting a successor to long-serving Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. It's been a heated and competitive campaign pitting former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver against former state legislator Sheila Kuehl.
Los Angeles County voters will also decide whether to impose a $23 per parcel special tax to continue funding of certain parks and recreation programs, and some anti-gang programs.
Orange County voters are selecting two county supervisors, for the 2nd District, in North County, and the South County coastal 5th District.
Ballot-counting can be a slow process. At 8 p.m. county registrars will load verified mail-in ballots into counting machines and post partial results. It takes a few hours for polling place workers to reconcile their counts of ballots and voters, and deliver the locked ballot boxes to county offices for counting. That's when the bulk of ballots will be counted and results posted online.
Here are some Election Day insights from voters KPCC staffers encountered at polling places.