Former Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner Luz Maria Rivas took the early lead in Tuesday’s special election to fill the 39th Assembly District seat, which became vacant when Raul Bocanegra resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
Rivas had 40.61 percent of the vote with 17 of 169 precincts reporting, 10.06 percent, and vote-by-mail ballots counted, according to figures released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Ricardo Benitez, a contracting business owner and the lone Republican in the field of six, was second with 25.87 percent.
Antonio Sanchez, who worked as a field director under then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, was third with 16.48 percent. Former Assemblywoman Patty Lopez was fourth with 9.14 percent.
If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a June 5 general election.
Bocanegra resigned Nov. 27 after initially saying he would serve out the remainder of his term representing the northeastern San Fernando Valley. He opted to step aside amid rising calls for him to resign.
The district includes North Hollywood, Mission Hills, Sylmar, Arleta and Lake View Terrace.