Los Angeles County will soon find out who will be the next Sheriff.
Will incumbent Alex Villanueva keep his seat as the LA County Sheriff? Or will we have a new Sheriff in town with retired Long Beach police chief Robert Luna?
The morning after Election Day, Luna held onto an early lead with 57% of the votes.
By 4 p.m. Nov. 10, Luna had a more than 300,000-vote lead, with 59.85% of the vote to Villanueva's 40.16%.
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Both Villanueva and Luna got their names printed on the November 2022 ballot after finishing the June election with the top-2 most votes in a nine-candidate field.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Alex Villanueva, Robert Luna head to Nov. runoff
Villanueva is looking to keep the same Sheriff's seat he's had since 2018. He became LA County's 33rd Sheriff after beating then-incumbent Jim McDonnell in the Nov. 2018 general election. Villanueva's win over McDonnell also meant he was the first challenger to unseat an incumbent LA County Sheriff in more than 100 years.
His challenger Robert Luna is looking to give the department a fresh start, should the retired Long Beach police chief win the race.
Leading up to Tuesday's November election, Luna blamed the incumbent candidate of eroding the public's trust of LASD, pointing out the department's role in handling of the Sheila Kuehl investigation back in September 2022 and the deputy gangs allegations.
"I strongly believe the Attorney General stripped the Sheriff of this investigation because the Sheriff had no business investigating this from the very beginning," Luna said of the Kuehl investigation back in September 2022. "You cannot investigate your political opponents or enemies… This is why the public trust has been eroded."
Villanueva, who is at the center of the deputy gangs scandal, have vehemently dismissed the credibility of the allegations. He compared the deputy gang allegations to unicorns.
"Everybody knows what a unicorn looks like, but I challenge you, name one," he said back in September 2022.
Should Villanueva keep his seat, he will likely have to continue facing questions related to the deputy gang affiliations. When asked during the Sept. 2022 debate if he was doing enough to put a stop to deputy gangs, Villanueva he's been working to eradicate deputy gangs from his first day in office.
Aside from the controversial headlines, Villanueva has been credited with being the face of several department reforms. For example, during Villanueva's first term, LASD secured county funds to pay for the department's body camera program.
"This was a 20-month battle since the very first week I took office to get this program up and running, and it is very important to transparency (and) my commitment to reform the department," Villanueva said in 2020.
Villanueva was also the face of LASD's policy where the department is banned from transferring any undocumented immigrants who commit crimes to ICE.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies to get body-worn cameras
"In so doing, we have created a bright line between federal immigration enforcement and local law enforcement in the most populous county in the nation," Villanueva said in a statement in 2020. "I will not allow an entire segment of the population to be afraid to report crimes to law enforcement and be forced, again, back into the shadows."