Hydee Feldstein Soto took the early lead Tuesday evening over Faisal Gill in the race for Los Angeles city attorney, according to results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
Feldstein Soto had 59% of the vote, leading Gill by nearly 60,000 votes. Gill is a civil rights lawyer, and Feldstein Soto practices finance law.
The winner will replace termed-out City Attorney Mike Feuer. Gill led in the June primary, garnering 24% of the vote, with Feldstein Soto coming in second at 20%.
In a statement before the results were released, Feldstein Soto said she was “cautiously optimistic” but also “prepared for what might be a long November, as it took until the final count in the primary for the results in this race.”
The city attorney in Los Angeles is responsible for advising the mayor and City Council, as well as defending the city in litigation and bringing forward lawsuits on behalf of the city.
Gill has positioned himself as the more progressive candidate, touting police and criminal justice reform. He said that, if elected, he would not prosecute misdemeanor charges in his first 100 days while he evaluates his office’s policies.
On his campaign website, Gill said he would “reorient the office to prioritize diversion over prosecution.” He also said he would reduce prosecutions for certain misdemeanor offenses such as trespassing on public property and disorderly conduct.
“For decades, the L.A. City Attorney’s office has been unacceptably harsh in its prosecution of misdemeanor charges, punishing minor, victimless acts with a criminal record that stays with people for life,” Gill wrote.
Gill’s pledge to pause misdemeanor charges resulted in mayoral candidate Karen Bass dropping her endorsement of Gill due to her disagreement with the proposal. Bass’ opponent, Rick Caruso, then criticized Bass for supporting Gill.
Feldstein Soto would be the first female and Latina city attorney in Los Angeles history. She noted homelessness and rooting out corruption among her priorities.
On her website, Feldstein Soto said she would “use every resource” to provide access to competitive bidding and streamline approvals for housing. Regarding corruption, Feldstein Soto said, she would shut down practices such as no-bid contracts, vote-trading, seat-switching and appointments in exchange for political favors.
“We must bring experienced, independent leadership to City Hall to tackle our toughest problems — our homelessness crisis, our housing crisis, the scourge of illegal guns and the safety of our community,” Feldstein Soto wrote.