LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has conceded his re-election bid to retired Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva, marking the first time in more than 100 years anyone has unseated an incumbent in the race.
New numbers from the L.A. County Registrar showed Villanueva ahead by more than 126,000 votes.
In a statement issued by the LASD Monday, McDonnell stated in part: “Today, I contacted Alex Villanueva to offer my best wishes for his administration as the 33rd elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County. We are in the process of arranging an orderly transition and a series of briefings to assist the new administration and it is my hope that the Sheriff-elect will come to his new position with an open-mind.”
A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday.
Both candidates are veteran law enforcement officers. Villanueva spent three decades with the LASD before retiring earlier this year, while McDonnell was with the Los Angeles Police Department for 29 years — including as second-in-command to then-chief Bill Bratton — before going on to lead the Long Beach Police Department and then being elected sheriff in 2014.
McDonnell had the endorsement of at least four of the five county supervisors who control his budget and had the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Villanueva campaigned to “clean house.” He had the backing of the Los Angeles Democratic Party and the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the union representing rank-and-file deputies.
Hear from Villanueva, who made his first live television appearance following the victory on KCAL9.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)