LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Kathryn Barger took a strong lead to replace her boss, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who is being forced out by term limits.

Barger is leading the race in the 5th district with 30 percent of the vote so far. She is likely bound for a November runoff.

Antonovich backed his chief of staff to succeed him. He will have served 36 years at the end of this year.

“The record that Mike Antonovich has really put into play is something that I’m proud to be a part of for the last 15 years as chief of staff. And it’s resonated with the voters,” Barger said. “I mean they understand that it’s about getting response, constituent services and about understanding what the needs of the district are.”

“I’m very pleased with the support I’m receiving from the community. It’s across the board – Republicans and Democrats, Independents, all of our ethnic communities working together,” Antonovich said.

Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, and Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian were only decimal points apart, with 16 percent of votes, in a fight for second place, according to early returns.

Entrepreneur Darrell Park was close behind with 14.2 percent.

If no candidate earns more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will square off in a November runoff.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander’s narrow edge in campaign fundraising — with $1.3 million to Barger’s roughly $1.2 million — did not seem to translate into significant support in Tuesday’s election. He picked up only 11.2 of early votes.

Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr had 10.6 percent.

Altadena Town Council member Billy Malone and real estate investor Raj Pal Kahlon each garnered less than 2 percent of early votes.

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