McOsker, Yaroslavsky, Soto-Martinez claim victory in their L.A. City Council races
Three candidates for Los Angeles City Council declared victory in their races on Tuesday, part of the biggest shakeup of the 15-member council in nearly a decade.
Attorney Tim McOsker, a onetime aide to Mayor James Hahn, will return to City Hall after a 17-year absence, having prevailed in his race to succeed Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino in the city’s harbor district.
Labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez celebrated his own win, announcing he has ousted Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell in a Hollywood district.
Meanwhile, political aide Katy Young Yaroslavsky marked her victory over attorney Sam Yebri, who issued a concession statement Tuesday in the race to represent part of the Westside.
“I look forward to representing all the communities of Council District 5 and working with you to make our city better no matter who you supported in this election,” Yaroslavsky, who lives in L.A.’s South Carthay neighborhood, said in a statement.
Over the past year, four Los Angeles City Council members have lost their campaigns for reelection or higher office. A fifth could soon join them.
Yaroslavsky, in an interview, said she would focus in the coming months on homelessness — providing more housing while also working to keep people from losing their homes — and on working with county officials to ensure that mental health workers are assigned to L.A.’s streets.
The latest batch of election results showed Yaroslavsky had 58.5% of the vote, compared with 41.5% for Yebri, in the race to succeed Councilmember Paul Koretz. McOsker, a former lobbyist and political aide, had 65.2% of the vote, compared with 34.8% for his opponent, former neighborhood council member Danielle Sandoval.
Soto-Martinez had 55% of the vote, compared with 45% for O’Farrell, a two-term incumbent who spent 20 years at City Hall — about half of it as an aide to Councilman Eric Garcetti, who became mayor in 2013.
O’Farrell, a resident of Glassell Park, said in a statement that he had poured his “heart and soul” into serving the district.
“Though these results were not what we hoped for, I am proud of the campaign we ran, and I am proud of my team,” he said. “We will serve the constituents of the 13th District until my last day in office and ensure a smooth transition to the new councilmember.”
Soto-Martinez, an organizer with Unite Here Local 11, the hotel and restaurant workers’ union, will represent a district that covers all or parts of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown, Windsor Square, Atwater Village and other areas.
“We ran this campaign to build community power for workers, immigrants, the unhoused, people of color, young people, renters, and all of us who have been neglected by our city officials,” said Soto-Martinez, who lives in Hollywood. “Now, we’re bringing this movement into City Hall.”
McOsker, in his own election statement, promised to be “accessible, transparent, and responsive” to the district’s residents.
“I see this win as a mandate not for me, but for a community that deserves good jobs, better wages, clean air and water, more affordable housing, effective solutions for homelessness, safe neighborhoods, transparency in local government, and a voice in City Hall,” he said.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk is continuing to count votes in L.A.’s down-ballot contests, which will bring five new faces to the council next month. Several candidates in those races had declined to declare victory or defeat in recent days, saying they are waiting for more results.
McOsker, who lives in San Pedro, spent eight years as a top advisor to Hahn, first in the city attorney’s office, then in the mayor’s office. In recent years, he has worked as a lawyer representing real estate developers, an organization that represents hotels and the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing rank-and-file officers in the Los Angeles Police Department.
McOsker’s district comprises San Pedro, Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway and Watts, as well as the Port of Los Angeles.
Rex Richardson will become the first Black mayor of Long Beach after his opponent, Suzie Price, conceded on Tuesday.
Yaroslavsky, an environmental attorney and aide to county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, will represent a district that consists of all or parts of Westwood, Century City, Cheviot Hills, Palms, Beverlywood, Bel-Air, Pico-Robertson, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park and the Fairfax district.
Yebri told his supporters Tuesday that he had called Yaroslavsky to congratulate her — and is now rooting for her to succeed.
“While we sparred during the campaign, Katy and I agree on far more than we disagree,” he said.
Votes are also still being tallied in the race to replace Councilmember Mike Bonin in a district stretching from Los Angeles International Airport north to Pacific Palisades. In that race, attorney Traci Park is leading attorney Erin Darling, by 53.5% to 46.5%.
The last time a city election brought so much change to the council was in 2013. That year, voters elected six new members.
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