Hahn, Barger declare victory in L.A. County supervisors race; Mitchell holds big lead

Holly J. Mitchell, Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger
From left are L.A. County 2nd District Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn and 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
(Leroy Hamilton; Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times; Bonnie Blake)

L.A. County Supervisors Janice Hahn, Kathryn Barger and Holly J. Mitchell all looked headed for reelection after the latest round of votes was counted Friday, a sweep that would continue the reign of the so-called Five Little Queens.

The incumbents were among 12 candidates competing in three races that could have reshaped the board, which has been all female since 2020, fundamentally altering its approach to public safety and homelessness, among other issues.

But in L.A. County supervisorial races, incumbents rarely lose. Results suggest that Tuesday’s primary election was no exception, with every challenger lagging far behind each sitting supervisor.


If the early returns hold and the three incumbents each maintain more than 50% of the vote, they could win outright and avoid a runoff election in November.

On Friday afternoon, Hahn claimed victory over her two opponents — including former county Sheriff Alex Villanueva, whom she referred to as a “two-time loser.”

“For the second time in two years, voters have rejected his lies, lawlessness and failures,” she said in a statement. “It’s clear that voters across the 4th District agree with L.A. County’s designation of keeping Alex Villanueva on the do-not-hire list.”

Barger declared victory Thursday, saying in a statement that with 59% of the vote, she was “positioned to continue representing our county’s large and diverse Fifth District.”

“County service has been my focus for over 35 years and the results so far serve as a validation that experience and hard work does not go unnoticed,” Barger said.

Redistricting has made Kathryn Barger’s supervisorial district less conservative. She’s challenged by veteran Democratic Assemblymember Chris Holden and others.

March 1, 2024

After two terms, Barger, a lifelong Republican endorsed by labor unions, was running against four candidates, including Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), to represent the 5th District in the northern part of the county, including Lancaster, Santa Clarita and Burbank.

Barger was the only one of the three incumbents who political experts thought might be forced into a runoff.


But as of Friday afternoon, Holden had received 21% of the vote, with the three other candidates trailing. Holden said Thursday evening that he was monitoring the results, noting that many votes have yet to be counted.

Hahn faced down two challengers as she vied for a third and final term: Villanueva, who wanted the seat after losing his bid for another term as top cop, and John Cruikshank, the mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes, a city of about 40,000. Hahn represents the 4th District, which spans the southern and southeastern parts of the county, including Long Beach and Torrance.

As of Friday, Hahn had 57% of the vote, compared with 29% for Villanueva and 14% for Cruikshank.

Asked to comment Friday on the results, Villanueva accused Hahn of using public money to buy votes.

“Losers use taxpayer dollars to bribe voters, conceal their crass nepotism, and then refuse to defend their failing record in a public debate,” he wrote in a text message.

He also sent The Times a quote he attributed to Joseph Stalin: “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”


Finally, Mitchell was fighting to keep her seat after one term representing the 2nd District, which includes South L.A., Inglewood and Carson as well as unincorporated Marina del Rey and Willowbrook. Her challengers for a seat that has been held by a Black leader for the last three decades included educator Daphne D. Bradford and nonprofit executives Clint D. Carlton and Katrina Williams.

Mitchell held a commanding lead Friday at 67%, with her nearest opponent, Bradford, at 13%.

Each supervisor represents roughly 2 million constituents and can hold office for up to three terms. In the past, many supervisors have won reelection twice and served the full 12 years.

Barger and her supporters gathered Tuesday night at Mijares Mexican Restaurant in Pasadena, dining on chicken flautitas and beef taquitos.

Cheers erupted as a Barger staffer announced some early returns.

Barger, a county employee since the late 1980s, and Holden, who has held public office for about 35 years, were the best-known candidates in the 5th District. The two exchanged barbs in mailers, with Holden suggesting that Barger supports Donald Trump, a claim Barger has denied. She has repeatedly said that party affiliation has no place in local politics.

The five county supervisors control a $43-billion budget and a workforce of 110,000 that is responsible for the running of everything from the region’s public hospitals to its jails.


The supervisors also serve as a quasi-city council to the 1 million residents who live in the roughly 120 unincorporated areas of the county.

For the first time since the board’s inception more than 150 years ago, the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors will be all women, each of whom comes with significant backgrounds in politics and government.

Nov. 4, 2020

Villanueva’s candidacy had been expected to add some excitement to the typically sleepy county supervisor races. During his one term as sheriff, he regularly sparred with the supervisors and their staff over the size of his budget and the scope of their oversight.

But his fundraising lagged far behind Hahn’s, limiting his ability to get out his message that L.A. County is a crime-ridden region in need of fresh leadership. At one point, his primary account on X, formerly known as Twitter, was shut down, further limiting his reach.

Like Hahn and Barger, Mitchell was running in a reshaped district. In 2021, an independent redistricting committee moved predominantly white communities, including Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, from Hahn’s 4th District into the 2nd. This raised concerns about whether a Black leader could continue to win the seat.

Mitchell said many elected officials from the beach cities that were added to her district showed up at her watch party Tuesday night at Sip & Sonder, a Black-owned coffee and tea house in Inglewood.

She said she was heartened by early results, which showed her significantly ahead of her three competitors.


On Wednesday afternoon, she said in a statement that the results were indicative of the work her office does for the 2nd District.

“We are committed to tackling the deep systemic issues that have led to some of the harsh realities far too many Angelenos experience,” Mitchell said. “This includes homelessness, poverty, over-incarceration, and more. It will take more than one term in office to course correct.”