Newcomer with two-vote lead declared winner in Echo Park council president race; Silver Lake council members draw straws to break tie

In his first race for public office, Ari Bessendorf was today officially declared the winner of last weekend’s election for Echo Park neighborhood council president, beating Francisco Torrero, who currently serves as vice president, by only two votes. Meanwhile, Maidel Luevano won a tie-breaker tonight against Joe Malone to become one of the District 3 representatives on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

The outcome of  Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council election was certified today by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which oversees neighborhood councils, after no one challenged the results, said Jay Handal, an independent election administrator. Bessendorf will become the Echo Park council’s first new president in more than five years, replacing outgoing President Jose Sigala, who decided not to run after he declared his candidacy in next year’s 13th City Council District election. Sigala’s wife, Lisa-Baca Sigala, also did not seek to be re-elected as the council’s Chief Information Officer.

Bessendorf and the other newly elected Echo Park council members are scheduled to be seated at on Tuesday during the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Governors. “I expect we will all be there to make sure it happens-nicely,” said Handal.

The tie-break in the Silver Lake council race was held tonight in Van Nuys, where Luevano drew the short straw to beat Malone. Both candidates emerged from last Saturday’s election with nine vote each.

The close results in both elections supports the notion that every vote does matter, Handal said. “Anyone who thinks their vote does not count is completely wrong.:


  1. Hurrah for Bessendorf! Save Elysian Park!

  2. Not sure which is funnier re: SLNC… that the person that drew the short straw won, or that the two frontrunners were tied w/ 9 votes each.

  3. Congratulations Ari…..good news indeed.

  4. Aparently there is no challenge to the elections, but there is no official certification as of today on the empowerla.org website, was told that audit is being conducted, whatever that means, results have not being certified.

  5. Whats with the REAL count?
    What Audit? Who is handling it?
    Why is it taking so, s-o-o-o-o l- 0 -n -n -g to get a final count and
    a clear response.
    Why is IKARE not carrying?

  6. kfqt ? wa da ya mean by karrying ? what ?

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *