WESTSIDE — Where was everyone?
Los Angeles County voter turnout was 13.2 percent at Tuesday’s primary election, according to the registrar. Another 5.3 percent of total registered voters mailed in absentee ballots.
In the race to replace termed-out L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, front-runners former State Assemblyperson and Senator Sheila Kuehl and former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver gathered enough votes to face off in the November election. The candidates, both long-time Santa Monica residents, raised and spent the most money in the race.
Kuehl led Shriver by more than seven percentage points, nearly 9,000 votes.
“We had no polls because we put all our money directly into getting out campaign information,” she said. “I assumed that if other candidates were polling but not releasing results that would bode well for me. I thought I would finish first but not by that wide of a margin.”
More than one in three voters, 36 percent, chose Kuehl. Shriver had 28.8 percent of the vote. West Hollywood Councilmember John Duran came in a distant third with 16 percent.
Shriver, who has already spent $1 million of his own money on the race, holds the most cash on hand as of the last filing. He launched his campaign in January; Kuehl launched a year prior.
Two percentage points separated the top two candidates in the race to replace State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica), who is a top contender in the Congressional race.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education member Ben Allen was the top vote-getter followed closely by reproductive rights activist Sandra Fluke.
Allen had support from 21.8 percent of voters to Fluke’s 19.7 percent.
“I am immensely proud of my campaign,” Fluke said. “I want to start by thanking the grassroots supporters who stood with me. We ran a campaign that shows what kind of elected official I will be: one who is accountable to the individuals who voted me into office, not to special interests.”
Allen did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Independent Seth Stodder, an attorney, received 17.5 percent of the vote despite spending only $34,000 as of his last filing in mid-May.
Allen raised $346,000 and spent $50,000 of his own money on the campaign. Fluke brought in $323,000 and spent $116,000 of her own money.
Allen also benefited from the support of Republican-turned-Independent Bill Bloomfield who spent more than half a million dollars promoting Allen.
Republican Elan Carr led the vote totals, followed closely by Democrat Ted Lieu, in the race to replace retiring Congressman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica).
Carr, a criminal gang prosecutor, received 20.5 percent of the vote to Lieu’s 19 percent. There were 18 total candidates in the race. Ten of the candidates were Democrats and three were Republicans.
Despite Tuesday’s win, the General Election could be an uphill battle for Carr in a district of majority registered Democrats.