Koretz acknowledges Mejia victory in L.A. controller race: ‘I’m clearly not going to win’

City controller candidates Paul Koretz, left, and Kenneth Mejia.
(Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz acknowledged Wednesday that he would not win the L.A. city controller race after rival Kenneth Mejia held a significant lead in the first batch of election results.

Mejia proclaimed victory in tweet Tuesday night. “WE DID IT!” he wrote.

Despite a significant fundraising advantage, Koretz, 67, trailed Mejia by more than 20 points early Wednesday. The veteran politician spent most of the runoff focused on attacking Mejia, who also finished well ahead of Koretz in the primary.


“I’m clearly not going to win at this point,” Koretz said.

At another point, Koretz said that he thought Mejia had won the race. Still, the councilman suggested that his campaign may not take the formal step of conceding.

“I don’t know that I’ll ever bother to issue a concession statement,” Koretz said. “It’s not like people are waiting to hear from the candidates for controller.”

Mejia, 32, relied extensively on Twitter and TikTok to reach voters, using videos and maps to scrutinize city spending and explain the little-known work of the controller, who serves as auditor and chief accounting officer.

“We changed the game. We basically did the role of city controller before getting elected,” said Mejia in his election night speech, according to a video posted online.

The winners of four contests for Los Angeles City Council will have the power to shape policy on housing, homelessness, police and other issues.

Nov. 9, 2022

Mejia campaign manager Jane Nguyen said the accountant’s campaign had “unprecedented grassroots power.”


“Our message of transparency and accountability resonated with voters from all backgrounds who are fed up with the status quo,” Nguyen said.

Koretz said he didn’t attend the Hollywood Palladium event Tuesday night, where incumbent Democrats, including mayoral candidate Karen Bass, gathered to watch the returns. “We had a quiet Chinese meal with a few friends and mostly family and campaign staff, “ Koretz said.

Koretz will leave the City Council in December, having served the maxiumum three terms.