LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Long Beach police Chief Jim McDonnell has taken an early lead in the Los Angeles County sheriff’s race.


Early returns showed McDonnell with 47 percent of the vote.

If McDonnell gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he will win the election, KCAL9’s Dave Bryan reported.

“I’m hopeful. Obviously hopeful. But we’re focusing on the general election, moving forward, we want to stay focused. Obviously, if it was possible to do it tonight, that would be a godsend. But we’re looking at the future, we’re looking moving forward, trying to get our message out there to the voters. With two candidates in the race, it will be easier for the voters to focus on the message,” McDonnell said at a supporter gathering at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live.

“I think being an outsider resonates. An outsider with a lot of experience working right alongside the organization, but not somebody who has been within the organization who has three-decade alliances with people. Somebody who can bring a fresh perspective and look for opportunities that those inside can’t see,” he continued.

Former undersheriff Paul Tanaka was second to McDonnell with 15 percent of the vote.

“I feel fine. It’s really up to the voters. It’s not something that one person can control….as long as we’re in the top two, I think we’re in a good position,” Tanaka told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez.

Meantime, Bob Olmsted had 10 percent of the vote, James Hellmold had 9 percent and Patrick Gomez had 7 percent. Todd Rogers and Lou Vince tied with 6 percent.


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