LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – For the first time ever, the Los Angeles City Council will likely have two Asian Americans serving at the same time.
Longtime council aide John Lee was recognized by the city council Wednesday as the Councilman-elect for northwestern San Fernando Valley’s 12th District seat following a special election against Loraine Lundquist.
With just over 3,700 ballots left to be counted, Lee held a 1,329-vote lead over Lundquist, according to figures released by Los Angeles County
Officials say so far Lee has 16,724 votes to 15,395 for Lundquist, a lead of 52.07 percent to 47.93 percent. Lundquist has not officially conceded yet.
“This has been an interesting four months, and now that the campaigning is over, I’m ready to get down here and start the work,” Lee said
in the Council Chamber.
Lee joins Democratic Councilman David Ryu, who is Korean American, as the second Asian American member to currently serve on the city council.
Although the race is nonpartisan, District 12 — an area that includes Chatsworth, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Granada Hills and West Hills — has
traditionally leaned Republican. Lee is a Republican, while Lundquist, an astrophysicist and longtime “social justice” activist, is a Democrat.
Lee – the former chief of staff for then-City Councilman Mitch Englander – sought to become the second aide in the 12th Council District to ascend to council member after Englander, who was previously the chief of staff for then-Councilman Greig Smith.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)