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Garcetti overwhelmingly wins re-election; Measure S defeated

LOS ANGELES — Status quo was the order of the day March 7 after City Hall incumbents were re-elected and voters handily defeated a ballot measure that would have changed development in the city.

Mayor Eric Garcetti led the way for incumbents as he received more than 80 percent of the vote to fight off 10 challengers  and win a second term as mayor.

Six City Council members easily won re-election, while a seventh, First District Councilman Gil Cedillo, is hoping to avoid a May 17 runoff in his bid to in a second term.

Mayor Garcetti proclaimed victory relatively early election night. He greeted supporters at a campaign party in downtown Los Angeles, touting his achievements over the past four years and vowing that more is to come.

“While other people are talking about doing big things, Los Angeles, we are doing big things right now,” he said. “My friends, big things don’t happen by accident. They require leadership. The job of the mayor is to get things done, and that’s what I’m going to keep on doing for each and every one of you here in this city.

“We’re breaking records at our port and our airport. We’re breaking records for tourism and filming. We’ve housed more homeless veterans than any city in America. We’ve paved more roads than ever before. We’ve confronted climate change head on, by cleaning our air, conserving our water and expanding our green spaces. We enacted the largest tax cut in our city’s history and we’ve seen more small businesses start in the last four years than we’ve seen in decades.

“So we are doing big things, but we have a lot more left to do,” he said.

Measure S, an initiative aimed at limiting development in the city by blocking General Plan amendments for two years, was defeated by city voters with almost 69 percent of voters opposing the measure.

Measure H, a county initiative that will raise the sales tax one-quarter cent for the next 10 years to raise funds for programs for the homeless, appeared headed to victory with 67.44 percent of the vote after unofficial vote tallies. The measure requires approval by 66.67 percent of the voters to take effect.

In the City Council races, Cedillo received 50.98 percent of the vote in the First District with thousands of ballots remaining to be counted. Activist/businessman Joe Bray-Ali, a bike activist and former bike shop owner, is hoping to drop that total to less than 50 percent as provisional and absentee ballots are counted to force a May 16 runoff in the district that includes Highland Park, Lincoln Heights and Pico-Union.

In the Fifth Council District, Councilman Paul Koretz easily fended off challenges from Jesse Creed, an attorney, and political consultant Mark Herd.

Creed had raised the most money of any challenger looking to unseat an incumbent in any other race, but Koretz still received 65.7 percent of the vote in the district that includes Encino, Cheviot Hills, Bel-Air and Westwood.

In the Ninth Council District, incumbent Curren Price handily defeated challengers Jorge Nuno, an activist and graphic designer, and neighborhood council member Adriana Cabrera to continue representing the district, which stretches from the southern part of downtown into South Los Angeles. The district has had a black representative on the council since the 1960s but has become a majority Latino district over the years.

Nevertheless, Price received 62.71 percent of the vote.

In the 11th Council District, which includes the Westside communities of Venice Beach, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, Councilman Mike Bonin won easily over Mark Ryavec, a political activist, and Robin Rudisill, a former member of the Venice Neighborhood Council.

Bonin received almost 70 percent of the vote.

In the 13th District, which includes Echo Park, Silver Lake and part of Hollywood, Councilman Mitch O’Farrell also won easily, outpacing five challengers while receiving 60.38 percent of the vote.

In the 15th Council District, which includes San Pedro and Watts, Councilman Joe Buscaino had no difficulty in the race against challengers Noel Gould and Caney Arnold.

Buscaino received 73.81 percent of the vote.

Turnout was expected to be low for and it was. Unofficial figures released by the county Registrar of Voters put the turnout at 11.29 percent.