In a surprise easy win, incumbent Councilman Jose Huizar fended off challengers for his city council seat in District 14, avoiding a May runoff with 65.75% of the votes.
The councilman was braced for a tough race when former L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina announced she would enter the race last fall and many expected a runoff between the two Eastside political veterans.
Molina, who was the first Latina elected to both the Board of Supervisors and the state legislature, received 24% of votes. Social worker Nadine Diaz received 4.4% of the votes, 3.6% went to activist Mario Chavez, while political consultant John O’Neil got 2.3%.
Huizar will return for his third and final term representing the district which includes Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Highland Park and downtown Los Angeles.
Charter Amendments 1 and 2, aimed at increasing voter participation by aligning elections with federal and state elections, both passed with more than 75% of voters agreeing.
“This is a great win for the people of Los Angeles,” said campaign co-chairman and director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC Don Schnur, in a released statement. The former chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission said, “Tonight they win back their elections from special interests who have controlled local politics for too long.”
The win means voters will now cast ballots in mayoral, city council and school board races in even-numbered rather than odd-numbered years, beginning in 2020. The shift gives city and school board officials elected in 2015 and 2017, an extra 18 months in office, and a 5 ½ year term rather than a 4-year term.
Voters also cast ballots on a number of Community College Board of Trustees seats, which are decided on highest number of votes and not percentages. The winners include: Andrea Hoffman, Seat 1; Sydney Kamlager, Seat 3; Scott Svorkin, Seat 5; and Mike Fong, Seat 7.
In Tuesday’s election, voter turnout was estimated at only 8.6%, the lowest in more than a decade.