Zwick: Jesse Zwick (center) has clinched a spot on city council. SMDP Photo

In a rambling, emotional and self-congratulatory speech on Tuesday afternoon, outgoing LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva conceded the race to retain the office, which he held for one term, finally congratulating incoming sheriff Robert Luna on his successful campaign. 

Throughout vote reporting, Luna has consistently held a double-digit lead over the incumbent Villanueva; as of the latest update from the LA County Office of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Luna had secured 60% of votes to Villanueva’s 40%. 

“I want to wish the incoming sheriff well,” Villanueva said. “I want him to succeed for a simple reason: The safety of the community depends on him succeeding; the welfare of every single person in the department depends on succeeding.”

Villanueva’s concession — which occurred in full uniform, in front of the LA County Sheriff’s Department seal and was broadcast through official LASD channels — was the latest in a string of local candidates acknowledging defeat or declaring victory that has occurred as results have solidified.

Some races were never contentious; U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu and state Senator Ben Allen declared victory almost immediately. 

Allen tweeted about “what looks like a strong victory” around 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, just 12 hours after polls closed. Lieu was not close behind.

“Today I express my sincerest gratitude to the residents of Los Angeles County who have continued to trust me as their representative in Congress,” Lieu was quoted as saying in a statement published the afternoon following Election Day. “Serving my constituents in the House of Representatives is the honor of my lifetime.”

But many other races were contested. There remain an estimated 562,524 ballots left to be counted countywide, as of the latest update provided by the RRCC on Tuesday evening, but even tighter races are now being declared.

Caroline Torosis, the top vote-getter in the Santa Monica City Council race, declared victory late last week. 

“After all of our hard work together these last 8 months, Santa Monica voters showed that they support inclusive leadership and a vision for Santa Monica that prioritizes economic recovery, a more affordable city, and a housing-first approach to solving homelessness,” Torosis wrote in an email to her supporters on Friday, Nov. 11. “I am optimistic that when the final votes are tallied, we will have built a broad citywide coalition ready to tackle our city’s biggest challenges.”

On Tuesday morning, incoming City Councilmember Jesse Zwick formally declared victory, earning one of three city council seats on the ballot. Zwick has consistently sat at second place as results have been tallied.

Zwick similarly declared victory in an email to his supporters.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve my city, and thankful to all of you who donated, volunteered, and voted in this race,” Zwick wrote. “Most of all, however, I am heartened by the broad support that Santa Monicans showed for a more compassionate and inclusive city.”

Incumbent Lana Negrete — who was appointed to council in 2021 — was still holding onto the third seat in her election bid, but with the race still too close to call, Negrete had yet to come out with a formal statement following Election Day.

None of the four school board members poised for victory provided statements about the race as of Tuesday.

In the contest to replace Councilmember Mike Bonin for LA City Council District 11 representation, Traci Park remained around 53.5% to fellow candidate Erin Darling’s 46.5%, but Park had yet to declare victory as of Tuesday.

Rick Chavez Zbur, an establishment Democratic Party candidate who successfully campaigned to succeed outgoing Assemblymember Richard Bloom, declared victory Monday. Zbur later posted a photo from Assembly orientation in Sacramento, writing, “Really excited to start my orientation in Sacramento today as Assembly District 51’s new Assemblymember!”

Results up to this time have come in slow and steady — three updates on Election Night followed by subsequent data dumps on Thursday, Nov. 10; Friday, Nov. 11; Saturday, Nov. 12; Monday, Nov. 14; and Tuesday, Nov. 15. Additional updates were expected daily through Saturday, Nov. 19.

emily@smdp.com

Editor’s note: The LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk announced on Tuesday night that vote tallies would be updated daily Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 16-19; the story has been updated to reflect the new schedule.

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