Final election results settle close LA City Council, school board races

Poll workers staff a voting location in North Hollywood during the Los Angeles city election on May 16, 2017.
Poll workers staff a voting location in North Hollywood during the Los Angeles city election on May 16, 2017.
Mary Plummer/KPCC

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Monica Rodriguez secured her seat on the Los Angeles City Council and Kelly Gonez clinched her spot on the L.A. Unified School District Board, according to final election results from the Los Angeles City Clerk released today.

The results, certified this afternoon, close the book on May's municipal election.

Despite a wave of local activism in response to the election of President Donald Trump, voters shrugged when it came to the city general election.

Just 10.7 percent of Angelenos showed up to the polls on May 16, continuing a string of embarrassingly low turnouts in Los Angeles municipal elections — that despite the high stakes.

The election of Kelly Gonez in L.A. Unified's 6th District, which represents the East Valley, completes a sweep for charter school allies this year. Gonez, a teacher, and Imelda Padilla, a labor organizer, emerged from a crowded primary in March to compete in the May runoff.

The final results showed Gonez netting 51.5 percent of the vote, with a margin of about 1,000 votes over Padilla.

Newcomer Nick Melvoin also knocked off incumbent board president and charter skeptic Steve Zimmer on May 16. Spending in the L.A. Unified contest shattered previous records, with most of that money coming from outside groups.

In the 7th City Council District race, Monica Rodriguez widened her lead over challenger Karo Torossian in the final count. She will represent an area that stretches from Sylmar to Shadow Hills.

Rodriguez and Torossian share similar views on many issues. They were vying to gain a seat left vacant by former councilmember Felipe Fuentes, who stepped down to become a lobbyist. The final vote total from the district shows Rodriguez winning by 1,301 votes — in a race in which just 17,875 voters cast a ballot.

Other races on the May ballot featured clear winners on election night.

Controversial police reform initiative Charter Amendment C passed, which may lead to less discipline for officers accused of misconduct. And 1st District Council member Gil Cedillo cemented his re-election bid, in a bizarre race that featured revelations about posts on racist forums by his challenger.