[16:9] Los Angeles County Voter Booth

Health center public affairs director David Ryu will become Los Angeles’ first Korean American councilman July 1 when he is sworn in to succeed Councilman Tom LaBonge to represent the Fourth District.

Ryu defeated LaBonge’s Chief of Staff, Carolyn Ramsay, 53.85 percent- 46.14 in Tuesday’s election according to unofficial results released by the City Clerk’s office.

Ryu made a surprisingly strong showing in the March primary election and won the backing of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Ramsay was endorsed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and a majority of council members.

Ryu carried the torch of the political outsider, cashing in on popular themes of rejecting campaign donations from developers and accusing LaBonge of misusing discretionary funds. His website notes that he has “never been part of the crowd at City Hall,” although he served as a deputy to then-county Supervisor Yvonne Burke.

Ryu said he wanted City Hall to be more responsive to residents.

Eric Bauman, chairman of the county Democratic Party, said Ryu “will fight for working men and women, advocate for our shared Democratic values and stand up for residents of the Fourth Council District.”

The Ramsay campaign dismissed such proclamations as campaign stunts aimed at grabbing headlines. Ramsay touted herself as an experienced leader familiar with the inner workings of City Hall. She also pushed for the creation of a Hollywood Innovation Zone to attract entertainment and tech jobs.

Ramsay also pushed to ensure infrastructure repairs that require tearing up streets and sidewalks are better coordinated.

In announcing his endorsement, Garcetti extolled Ramsay’s “15 years of experience and track record of bringing residents, local businesses, and community leaders together to solve problems and protect the character of our neighborhoods.”

“I know Carolyn and have seen her work at City Hall,” Garcetti said. “I know she will do things her own way and bring new ideas to the City Council.”

LaBonge was barred from running for re-election because of term limits.

The Fourth District stretches from Sherman Oaks, through Hollywood and Griffith Park and into the Hancock Park and Miracle Mile.

—City News Service

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