LA Councilman Grabs Early Lead, While School Board President Concedes

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Councilman Gil Cedillo jumped to a commanding early lead Tuesday in the 1st Council District race, while the 7th Council District race is neck-and-neck, initial results in the Los Angeles election reveal.

According to the early results, Cedillo received 67 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for his challenger, Joe Bray-Ali.

The 7th District race between Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian was much closer, with Torossian holding a 90-vote lead and both candidates earning around 50 percent of the vote.

Both of the races are runoff elections because no candidate in either contest received at least 50 percent of the vote in the March 7 primary.

In other balloting, the president of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education conceded defeat Tuesday in his re-election bid as he fell far behind a challenger backed by supporters of charter school expansion in the nation’s second-largest school district.

Despite topping a four-candidate field in the March primary, Steve Zimmer couldn’t repeat that success Tuesday, with early returns showing voters heavily supporting opponent, Nick Melvoin.

Speaking to supporters gathered in Mar Vista, Zimmer conceded the District 4 race even as ballots continued to be tallied.

“I may not have been successful tonight, but … we the teachers, we the students, we the families of this district, we are not a failure,” he said to cheers.

Zimmer had the support of labor unions, Mayor Eric Garcetti and other elected officials but was targeted by charter-school backers who poured millions of dollars into the race on behalf of Melvoin, hoping to shift the balance of power on the seven-member board in support of charters.

For full results of Tuesday’s election, visit the City Clerk’s site.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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