LA City Council Race: Mitch O'Farrell appears to be headed for runoff

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Los Angeles City Council members Gil Cedillo, Bob Blumenfield, Monica Rodriguez and Curren Price were on track to secure another term as primary results continued to come in Wednesday, while Councilman Mitch O'Farrell appeared headed for a runoff with labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez.

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It was not immediately clear how many provisional, questioned and late ballots remain to be tallied. Mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday will also likely continue to arrive in the coming days, and will be added to the totals.

Cedillo, Blumenfield, Rodriguez and Price faced only one challenger in their races, causing their elections to be decided Tuesday instead of in a November runoff between the top two candidates.

Cedillo held a modestly comfortable lead in the race for Council District 1 -- which includes Glassell Park, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Westlake, Chinatown and Pico-Union. He was topping community activist and public policy advocate Eunisses Hernandez.

Blumenfield was easily outpacing his opponent, Child Development Institute Board Member Scott Silverstein, in District 3, which includes neighborhoods in the southwest San Fernando Valley.

Rodriguez was pulling a similarly solid majority for the 7th District in the northeastern San Fernando Valley, topping community advocate and former president of the Pacoima Neighborhood Council Elisa Avalos.

Price was rolling toward an easy victory in District 9 in South Los Angeles over Dulce Vasquez, director of strategic partnerships for Arizona State University.

But the race to represent District 13, which includes the neighborhoods of Hollywood, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Atwater Village, appears to be headed for a runoff between incumbent O'Farrell and Soto-Martinez -- an organizer for the union that represents hotel workers -- with neither coming close to topping the 50% margin needed to avoid a November showdown.

Trailing the two front-runners were Kate Pynoos, former homelessness policy adviser to Councilman Mike Bonin; Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Stephen Johnson; and community organizer and police abolition advocate Al Corado.

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In Council District 5 -- which includes Bel Air, Encino, Westwood, Encino and Fairfax -- Katy Young Yaroslavsky initially held a slim majority, but according to semi-official results released Wednesday, her lead decreased to 47.43%. Her opponent, attorney Sam Yebri, received 31.78% of the vote. UCLA School of Law lecturer Jimmy Biblarz followed with 10.74%, and former chair of the Mid City West Neighborhood Council Scott Epstein received 10.33%.

Yaroslavsky is a former senior environment and arts policy deputy for LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and a daughter-in-law of former Supervisor and Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who represented the district from 1975-94.

Current District 5 Councilman Paul Koretz is termed-out and appeared to be heading for a November runoff in his run for city controller.

Bonin, who has represented Council District 11 since 2013, decided not to run for a third term, saying he wanted to focus on his mental health. It appeared eviction defense and civil rights attorney Erin Darling was heading for a runoff with attorney Traci Park in that district. Each received about 31% of the vote as of early Wednesday.

Council District 15, which includes San Pedro, Wilmington and Watts, has four candidates running to replace Councilman Joe Buscaino, who was running for mayor before dropping out of the race in May.

Leading the field in the initial results is Tim McOsker, businessman and chief of staff for former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. McOsker was headed for a runoff with former Harbor City Neighborhood Council President Danielle Sandoval. Businessman and former Port of Los Angeles marketing manager Anthony Santich and educator and community organizer Bryant Odega trailed the two front- runners.