A sheet of voter stickers. Photo by Stephanie Rivera.
A sheet of voter stickers. Photo by Stephanie Rivera.

Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu pulled ahead of a field of 14 candidates seeking to replace termed-out 4th District City Councilman Tom LaBonge in the City Clerk’s latest ballot tally released on Thursday.

Ramsay, LaBonge’s chief of staff, has 15.3 percent of the votes, followed by Ryu with 14.62 percent. Ryu is a director at the Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Mental Health Center.

Tomas O’Grady, who had been a few dozen votes behind Ryu in an earlier tally, is now 149 votes behind him, with 13.98 percent of the votes.

The top two vote-getters will advance to the May runoff election. The winning candidate will represent suburban communities in the San Fernando Valley as well as neighborhoods surrounding Griffith Park, Miracle Mile and Hollywood.

Ryu issued a statement saying “it now looks like our campaign has successfully made it into the general election and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my fight to bring a fresh perspective to City Hall.”

“Our campaign will remain focused on knocking on doors and listening to residents, one neighborhood at a time. There is still much work to be done and we’re just getting started!” he said.

The new numbers reflect unofficial results after additional vote-by-mail and polling place ballots were counted. About 1,300 ballots in the 4th District are left to be counted, according to Julio Esperios, spokesman for the City Clerk’s Office.

The voter turnout for the city election now sits at 10.34 percent, up from the initial report of 8.6 percent.

The City Clerk’s Office, which will continue to verify and count ballots, is set to release the final numbers by March 24.

Ryu would become the sole Asian American on the City Council if he is ultimately elected. There has not been an Asian-American council member since Michael Woo served on the council from 1985 to 1993.

Ryu campaigned on a platform of improving communication between the city and residents and says he supports raising the minimum wage and gradually eliminating the gross receipts tax.

Ramsay is looking to succeed her former boss. She touts 15 years of experience working on issues affecting the district, initially as a journalist and environmental activist, then as a member of LaBonge’s staff for about nine years.

O’Grady is the director of the nonprofit organization EnrichLA that works with schools to build edible gardens. He said his priorities include environmental and financial sustainability. He also wants to focus on development and transportation issues.

City News Service

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