Councilman Gil Cedillo jumped to a commanding early lead Tuesday in the 1st Council District race, while the 7th Council District race is neck and neck, according the first round of results in the Los Angeles election.
According to the early results, Cedillo received 67 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for his challenger, Joe Bray-Ali.
The 7th District race between Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian was much closer, with Torossian holding a 90-vote lead and both candidates earning around 50 percent of the vote.
Both of the races are runoff elections because no candidate in either contest received at least 50 percent of the vote in the March 7 primary.
In the 1st Council District, which includes Chinatown, Highland Park, Westlake and other northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods, Bray-Ali turned heads after forcing Cedillo into the runoff because he has never held elective office, and no incumbent has been beaten in a City Council election since 2003.
Bray-Ali pulled in 37.97 percent of the vote, while Cedillo finished with 49.34 percent. The challenger then got a boost when he received the endorsements of the Los Angeles Times and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
However, Bray-Ali lost both endorsements in late April when a series of racist and derogatory statements he had made online came to light.
Following the revelations, Bray-Ali was denounced by numerous civil rights and LBGT leaders in Los Angeles, and seven City Council members also called for him to drop out of the race.
Bray-Ali at first apologized for remarks, then contended some of the remarks were being taken out of context. He declined to pull out.
Cedillo has a long list of endorsements, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, eight City Council members, Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Kamala Harris, D- California.
In the 7th Council District, which includes includes Sunland-Tujunga, Mission Hills, Pacoima and other neighborhoods in the northeast San Fernando Valley, Rodriguez and Torossian are facing off for an open seat, which was vacated by Felipe Fuentes last year when he resigned to take a job as a lobbyist.
Rodriguez and Torossian emerged from a 20-candidate field in the primary. Rodriguez is a former Public Works commissioner who has also worked as an aide for some past council members, while Torossian is the director of planning and the environment for Councilman Paul Krekorian.
The race has become a showdown between two City Hall insiders, with Torossian receiving Krekorian’s endorsement, while Rodriguez has been endorsed by Garcetti, who appointed her to the Board of Public Works.
–City News Service
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