Outsider David Ryu Wins LA City Council District 4 Runoff

Community health administrator Ryu received 53.85 percent of the vote to 46.14 for Ramsay with all 113 precincts reporting

Self-proclaimed political outsider David Ryu defeated Carolyn Ramsay in the race to be the new District 4 representative on the Los Angeles City Council.

Community health administrator Ryu received 53.85 percent of the vote to 46.14 for Ramsay with all 113 precincts reporting, according to unofficial results released by the City Clerk's office.

Incumbent Tom LaBonge was barred from running for re-election because of term limits, however Ramsay is his chief of staff. She was also endorsed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and a majority of council members.

Ryu's victory will make him the second Asian American and first Korean American to serve on the council. He had won the backing of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and claimed to be a political outsider. He cashed in on popular themes of rejecting campaign donations from developers and accused LaBonge of misusing discretionary funds.

His website states he has "never been part of the crowd at City Hall,'' though he served as a deputy to then-county Supervisor Yvonne Burke.

The election was a runoff, with Ryu and Ramsay each grabbed about 15 percent of the vote in March, topping a crowded field of 14 candidates running for the seat.

District 4 reaches into Koreatown and Mid-Wilshire on the south; through the Miracle Mile, Fairfax District, and Hollywood Hills into Sherman Oaks on the west; through much of Hollywood and into North Hollywood on the north; and through Los Feliz and Griffith Park into much of Silver Lake on the east.

Meanwhile Ref Rodriguez and Scott Mark Schmerelson won seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education today, while board President Richard Vladovic retained his seat. 

Rodriguez, the founder of a chain of charter schools, defeated incumbent Bennett Kayser, 53.55 percent-46.44 percent in District 5, according to unofficial results released by the City Clerk's Office.

Kayser, who has generally opposed charter schools, drew fire from the California Charter School Association, which put its financial might behind Rodriguez.

Kayser, a former teacher and technology coordinator for the district's Independent Studies program, had the backing of the powerful United Teachers Los Angeles union. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, UTLA spent about $800,000 in support of Kayser, but the Charter School Association invested about $1.8 million against him and in support of Rodriguez.

City News Service contributed to this report

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