Election night reporters who opted for the Carmen Trutanich headquarters in San Pedro, or were sent there by an editor or producer, ended up with the best story. The onetime frontrunner in the race for District Attorney self-destructed so badly that his ability to hold on to his job as Los Angeles City Attorney has to be in doubt. It wasn't certain by his remarks early this morning that he would even seek reelection next year. Trutanich's weak showing in the DA race — he had the most money and backing from Gov. Brown, but finished third behind two prosecutors with no previous campaign experience — should embolden challengers to run against him. State lawmaker and former councilman Mike Feuer already has the makings of a good-sized campaign bank account, built on the assumption that Trutanich would move up to DA. That isn't going to happen.
Trutanich and his advisers blamed negative media coverage and attacks from KFI attackers John & Ken for his loss. Hmm, nothing about his promise to publicly humiliate himself if he were to run for DA during his first term as City Attorney. Or about DA Steve Cooley backing his chief deputy, Jackie Lacey, and letting it be known that he found Trutanich to be kind of a goofball. Neither the Times (Lacey) nor the Daily News (Lacey and Alan Jackson) endorsed Trutanich for the bigger job after interviewing the prospects
From Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly, who is happy he went to San Pedro last night:
The crowd at the Croatian American Club of San Pedro watched the election returns Tuesday night in a state of shock and disbelief, as hometown hero Carmen Trutanich went down to apparent defeat in the race for L.A. County district attorney...
Speaking to a dwindling group of supporters after 1 a.m., Trutanich did not concede, but blamed the media for a "major league onslaught" against his candidacy.
"Barack Obama is getting hammered right now," Trutanich said. "I think the negative campaign against me is worse."
"I don't know what we did wrong in terms of running the city of L.A.," Trutanich told the crowd. "There's absolutely no corruption in the city of Los Angeles, as far as the city attorney's office goes. They hit me on street artists. I still think of it as graffiti. Obviously the marijuana crowd came out... We've done everything properly. There's no shame in what we've done. Negative campaigns work."
With all but provisional ballots counted, here's how the DA race looks from the Registrar-Recorder: