LA County Sheriff's Race: ‘Every Single Thing Has to Go Right for Villanueva'

Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna is looking to become the second person in more than a century to unseat a sitting sheriff.

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The polls have closed, but we may be counting ballots for over a week.

That’s according to Loyola Marymount University pollical science professor Fernando Guerra, who says gone are the days when poll numbers offered definite signals to election results.

“We used to have Election Day. We now have Election Season,” Guerra says. “All the metrics we’ve used in the past to try to analyze elections – they don’t work anymore.”

Preliminary numbers show LA County Sheriff candidate Robert Luna is holding an edge over Sheriff Alex Villanueva as previous polls predicted. While it may be too early to call the winner, Guerra says early numbers from the sheriff’s race and Measure A, which would give the LA Board of Supervisors the power to fire an elected sheriff, may suggest LA County voters need a “status quo change” within the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

“Measure A goes along with Luna in a sense that you want reform,” Guerra explains. “Measure A has more votes than Luna has. There were people who voted for Villanueva but also voted for the Board of Supervisors to be able to replace him.”

Villanueva has argued that Measure A will not hold up in court.

“The board put it on the ballot," Villanueva says. "They know it’s unconstitutional. They know it will not survive a legal challenge."

While it may be too early to tell who the next Sheriff will be as of Wednesday morning, Guerra says it may be becoming “very tough” for Villanueva to win the reelection.

“I don’t see how Villanueva can overcome this,” Guerra predicts. “Every single thing has to go right for Villanueva to reverse this.”

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