LA City Council

See Updated Results From the LA City Council Special Election

Seven candidates are competing to fill the seat once held by Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez

A Van Nuys resident votes in the City Council District 6 race on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

Community relations manager Imelda Padilla is leading a field of seven candidates in the race to fill the Los Angeles City Council seat once held by Council President Nury Martinez.

Tuesday was the last day to vote in the District 6 special primary election. The district has been without a voting representative on the council since October when Martinez resigned following the release of a recording on which she and two colleagues were part of a discussion that included racist remarks about another council member's young Black adopted son.

Marisa Alcaraz, Rose Grigoryan and Marco Santana are in a tight race for second, according to results updated Tuesday night from the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

If no candidate received a majority of the votes, the top two vote-getters will head to a runoff election. The deadline to cast ballots in the runoff would be June 27.

Padilla has 2,288 votes (25.55%), according to figures released at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Alcaraz was second with 1,723 votes (19.24%). Grigoryan was third with 1,610 votes (17.98%), and Santana was fourth with 1,568 votes (17.51%).

The next update from elections officials is expected Friday afternoon.

Council District 6 covers a larg portion of the San Fernandao Valley, including Van Nuys, Arleta, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sun Valley and the eastern portions of North Hills and North Hollywood.

Early voting for the special election began March 25. The deadline to cast ballots was 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Turnout was low, with 9,085 registered voters casting ballots, or 7.67% of the 109,388 voters registered in District 6. There were 8,301 ballots from voters by mail and 784 ballots from in-person vote centers.

Below are the seven candidates appearing on the ballot.

  • Marisa Alcaraz: An environmental policy director and deputy chief of staff and environmental policy director to Ninth District Councilman Curren Price. She is 38.
  • Rose Grigoryan: A social activist and journalist who emigrated from Armenia a decade ago. She is 37.
  • Issac Kim: A 34-year-old small business owner.
  • Imelda Padilla: A community relations manager. She is 35.
  • Marco Santana: The director of a housing nonprofit who has worked for former state Sen. Bob Hertzberg and Rep. Tony Cardenas. He is 32.
  • Antoinette Scully: A 38-year-old community organizer.
  • Douglas Sierra: A 37-year-old business consultant.

The winner will complete what's left of Martinez's term that ends in December 2024.

A non-voting caretaker was appointed in the wake of Martinez's resignation. Sharon Tso, the city's chief legislative analyst, doesn't hold a seat on the council, but oversees the council office to ensure the district provided constituent services and other basic functions.

The special election has its origins in the release of an October 2021 leaked conversation about city redistricting that includes Martinez and two council colleagues. The conversation provided a disturbing glimpse of a closed-door session that primarily focused on redrawing district boundaries and veered wildly into insults and racist remarks, including slurs referring to the 2-year-old adopted Black son of Councilmember Mike Bonin.

The leaked recording led to protests at several City Council meetings that followed with calls for the three members of the panel to resign.

The other two council members involved in the leaked conversation, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, defied calls to resign. Cedillo lost his re-election bid to Eunessis Hernandez in June. De León's term also expires in December 2024.

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