With 100% of precincts reporting, John Lee is leading Loraine Lundquist in the special election to represent District 12 on the Los Angeles City Council.
At last count, Lee, a Republican, was ahead of Democrat Loraine Lundquist, who has not conceded, by more than 1,300 votes. The seat was last held by Mitch Englander, who stepped down last year to take a private sector job.
Lundquist isn't throwing in the towel yet, in part because of how the June 4 primary went down, according to Jesse Switzer, political consultant for her campaign. Lee initially led by 50 votes the following morning, but after the final certified tally, Lundquist topped him by nearly 440 votes.
The margin is wider this time, but Lundquist "wants to see every vote counted," Switzer told LAist.
But the L.A. City Council didn't wait that long, welcoming Lee to council chambers Wednesday as councilman-elect and congratulating him on his victory.
"I'm ready to come here and start the work," Lee said before Council President Herb Wesson requested a couple rounds of applause.
Lee and Lundquist ran to finish out the term for Englander, who stepped down last year to take a job with a sports entertainment company. The primary election for a full-term leading District 12 will be held in March, along with several other council seats.
Englander had been the lone Republican on the city council, representing several northwest Valley communities, including Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge, Porter Ranch and West Hills. Lee served as his chief of staff.
If Lee maintains his sizable lead, the Valley district, which has been represented by Republicans for decades, will continue to lean red from the top, while the constituency leans blue. The district has 74,850 registered Democrats compared to 40,232 registered Republicans, according to the county registrar's office.
Lee pitched voters on his track record as a longtime community leader and public servant who's worked to "increase police patrols, expand park space, improve traffic safety... and delivered millions of dollars to the district."
Lundquist, an astrophysicist and teacher, ran on a platform that emphasized environmental sustainability, which she teaches at Cal State Northridge.
"As a scientist, I want to bring an evidence-based approach to governing and end the pay-for-play politics that have dominated City Hall," she told LAist last week.
This article was originally posted at https://laist.com/2019/08/14/cd_12_special_election_results_john_lee_loraine_lundquist.php