Nick Melvoin in campaign photo.
Morning update: With all precincts now counted, Monica Rodriguez (52.97 percent) looks as if she will be the second woman on the LA City Council. Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez is also decisively ahead for school board. Provisional ballots are all that's left to count
Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo easily won reelection in Tuesday's runoff in the 1st council district, getting the benefit of challenger Joe Bray-Ali's self-inflicted controversies. Cedillo racked up about 70 percent of the vote, helped by disclosures that Bray-Ali had participated in racist Internet forums and had extra-martial affairs.
While Cedillo's win meant no incumbent on the council would lose their jobs this year, the open seat in the Valley's 7th district remained too close to call after midnight. As of right now, with a bit more than 40 percent of the district's precincts counted, Monica Rodriguez led slightly with 50.80 percent of the counted vote to Taro Torossian's 49.19 percent.
There was an upset in the expensive, bitter school board race on the Westside. Incumbent Steve Zimmer conceded defeat early, around 10 p.m., after early results showed him trailing well behind first-time candidate Nick Melvoin. In the last pre-midnight update from the City Clerk's office, Melvoin had 57.26 percent to Zimmer's 42.73.
Zimmer was backed by teacher unions, other labor groups and Mayor Eric Garcetti and was seen as a defender of the school district against more inroads by charter schools. Melvoin had the backing of charter school organizations and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, So Melvoin's victory is seen as tipping the balance of the Board of Education toward reformers and charter schools, but these two are both liberal Democrats and may not be all that far apart in the long run.
In the other school board race, charter school backer Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez had 51.70 percent to 48.29 percent for Imelda Padilla with many votes left to be counted. A win by Fitzpatrick-Gonez would add two pro-charter members to the school board.
Outside spending of more than $14 million made this school board election the most expensively fought in the nation's history.
For most voters in the city, the only item on their runoff ballot was the ballot measure to allow LAPD officers to chose all-civilian review of disciplinary cases. Measure C looked to be cruising citywide with about 58 percent of the vote.