While Santa Monica voters generally swung left of center in this year’s primary election, Venice’s votes represented a broader spectrum of political ideology, with local ballots showing support for incumbent LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, known for high-profile clashes with progressive LA County supervisors and appearances on Fox News and One America News Network, as well as liberal mayoral candidate and US Congressional Representative Karen Bass.
Venice voters backed Villanueva at a slightly higher rate than did the rest of the County in the June 7, 2022, primary, with the divisive law enforcement leader scooping up one out of every three Venetian votes cast in the most recent election, coming in as the top vote-getter in a crowded field.
In Venice precincts, Villanueva earned 33.74 percent of votes cast, followed by runner-up former Long Beach police chief Robert Luna with 25.51 percent. Countywide, Villanueva earned 30.66 percent of votes cast, followed by Luna’s 25.85 percent.
In contrast, Santa Monica opted for Luna as top choice, followed by LASD Lieutenant Eric Strong and then Villanueva in a close third.
For LA County Third District Supervisor, Venice voters’ preferences generally aligned with those of Santa Monicans, with Venice residents favoring former West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath (35.57 percent) to replace outgoing Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, followed by State Senator Henry Stern (23.23 percent) and then State Senator Bob Hertzberg (21.19 percent).
Districtwide, Hertzberg took the top spot at 31.08 percent, followed by Horvath at 27.74 percent and Stern at 24.31 percent, meaning it will be Hertzberg and Horvath on the November ballot.
When it came to the LA City Council race for District 11 — encompassing the westside of LA from Pacific Palisades through Brentwood, West LA, Venice and Westchester — progressive Venice resident Erin Darling (who was endorsed by embattled Council Member Mike Bonin) earned 34.67 percent of votes cast districtwide. He was followed by the more centrist Traci Park (28.97 percent), also of Venice, for the No. 2 spot. But Venice voters swapped those preferences, picking Park, a Bonin detractor whose views on local issues such as homelessness more closely align with those of Villanueva, as first choice with 34.64 percent of votes, followed by Darling close behind with 32.85 percent. Park and Darling will face off on the November ballot.
In the City of LA mayoral race, Venice voters backed establishment Democrat Karen Bass, giving her 46.88 percent of votes cast there. Bass edged out runner-up billionaire developer Rick Caruso, who took 37.69 percent of Venice’s mayoral votes.
The results mirrored trends citywide, where Bass came in at 43.11 percent, ahead of Caruso’s 35.99 percent in the race for the seat that will soon be vacated by outgoing LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The LA County Registrar-Recorder/City Clerk’s office certified results of the June 7 primary on July 1, issuing primary bulletins on Monday morning, July 5.
Brynn Shaffer and Chandler Braxton contributed to this report.