Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo may find out Friday if he has secured another term or will have to face challenger Joe Bray- Ali in a May runoff.
Cedillo has 49.51 percent of the vote in the March 7 election for the 1st Council District race, but 50 percent plus one is required to avoid a runoff.
A spokesman with the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office said Friday’s updated vote count of more mail-in and provisional ballots will possibly be the last one.
There are still 55,500 outstanding votes to be counted for the entire county, so the 1st District ballots are expected to be a small percentage of the total.
“We have our fingers crossed that Friday will be the last update,” said Mike Sanchez, a spokesman for the registrar’s office. He added that if all the votes are not counted by Friday, it will be close to complete and an update on Tuesday would likely be the last one.
Cedillo finished March 7 with 50.98 percent of the vote and an update on March 10 saw him increase his lead to 51.28 percent. But then another update on Tuesday saw his lead drop below 50 percent.
Bray-Ali announced Tuesday that it “looks like we are heading to a runoff,” but the numbers show Cedillo is close to regaining over 50 percent. As of Tuesday, Cedillo was 98 votes short of 50 percent, with 9,529 total votes, compared to Bray Ali’s 7,288, which comes in at 38.14 percent.
Bray-Ali — or any registered voter — could also ask for a recount, but whoever requests the recount must also pay for it.
A bike activist and former bike shop owner with no elected experience, Bray-Ali received a boost to his campaign when the Los Angeles Times endorsed him over Cedillo, a seasoned lawmaker who served in the state Assembly and state Senate before winning the CD1 seat in 2013.
—City News Service