Los Angeles County voters took the first step toward a landmark changing of the guard on the powerful
Former U.S. Labor Secretary
In a second supervisorial race that includes the Westside and much of the San Fernando Valley, former state lawmaker and child star Sheila Kuehl appeared to be headed toward a two-way November runoff with former Santa Monica councilman and Kennedy family scion
At a union hall in El Monte, Molina praised Solis in front of supporters, including Los Angeles Mayor
In Santa Monica, the mood was festive at Kuehl and Shriver's election-night parties.
"I always considered myself the frontrunner in the race because I had represented so much of the district before," Kuehl said. "When people have voted for you before, they feel more comfortable voting for you again."
Shriver told supporters that "I'm going to continue to tell the story of my experience and my record."
In his first Santa Monica council election, he said, people didn't know much about him personally but voted for him once they did.
"This is a much bigger situation, with many more voters, so it takes a little longer to get the story out. But that's what we'll do in the fall."
In a Long Beach runoff election, early returns showed no clear winner in the race between real estate investor and former NFL player
After decades of little turnover on the L.A. County governing board, Tuesday's election marked the beginning of a new era of changing leadership at the nation's largest local government. Molina and
The incoming supervisors will face difficult policy choices and major financial challenges as they pursue improvements in the troubled child welfare system, guide an overhaul of county jail facilities and implement the federal Affordable Care Act's health system overhaul in the county's network of hospitals and clinics that serves hundreds of thousands of low-income residents.
Despite the extraordinary election, the campaign failed to inspire local voters. Turnout appeared to be lagging behind the typically low rates of previous such county primary elections, which in 2010 and 2012 hovered slightly above 20%. At some polling stations, short staffing or technical glitches resulted in voters either turned away or forced to wait hours for ballot stations to be set up.
Eight candidates vied for Yaroslavsky's seat, with Shriver, Kuehl and West Hollywood Councilman John Duran quickly emerging as the top contenders. The three raised a combined $3.5 million in campaign cash, including nearly $1 million that Shriver contributed to his own campaign.
Shriver was the only candidate who took his message to television. The others relied on mailers and busy schedules of public events.
Shriver portrayed himself as a "progressive problem solver," while Kuehl touted her legislative experience and detailed policy knowledge. Duran courted Republican voters, portraying himself as the most centrist and business-friendly candidate.
The strategy worked with Tracy Lucast, 66, a registered Republican from Santa Monica, who said she voted for Duran "strictly as a non-Shriver vote."
"It's like the Kingdom of Camelot is continuing ad nauseam," she said, referring to Shriver's Kennedy family lineage.
But Shriver and Kuehl's wider name-recognition and fundraising advantages appeared to have paid off, with early results showing them well ahead of Duran.
Duran said he thought he had been "severely disadvantaged on the money." But he added, "I think I come out a winner even if I don't break through." The campaign introduced him to a large bloc of voters, he said. "There may be another office for me sometime in the future."
In the county assessor's race, 12 candidates vied to replace John Noguez, a one-term assessor who is fighting public corruption charges. Jeffrey Prang, a West Hollywood councilman and special assistant in the assessor's office, was leading in early results, followed by prosecutor John Morris.
Vartan Gharpetian had a narrow lead in a special council election in Glendale.
Local propositions were also on the ballots in several cities, including one in Whittier that would convert election of four out of five City Council seats to by-district rather than at-large in response to a voting rights lawsuit. As of Tuesday night, the vote on the proposal was too close to call.