Despite being outspent more than 2 to 1, Mitch O’Farrell , a former dancer and council district adviser, emerged victorious over labor organizer and former Public Works Commissioner John Choi in Tuesday’s election to replace termed-out Eric Garcetti as representative of Council District 13, according to unofficial results.
With 100% of precincts reporting, O’Farrell captured 53.05% of the vote compared to 46.94% for Choi, according the City Clerk’s final tally of the votes. The results are still subject to review and confirmation by the City Council. “Thanks all! Final results in & we won by just over 6%,” said O’Farrell in a Twitter post early this morning. “We made history!”
Meanwhile, in the mayoral election, Garcetti, a Silver Lake resident, declared victory over Wendy Greueul after taking nearly 54% of the vote.
Choi, and O’Farrell waged a costly and increasingly bitter campaign for Council District 13, which includes Atwater Village, Echo Park, Silver Lake and portions of Hollywood.
Campaign spending in favor of Choi totaled nearly three times as much as the money backing O’Farrell. Choi was the beneficiary of large independent expenditures, which are not limited by the city, that were made primarily by public employee unions. The O’Farrell campaign and his supporters spent about $660,000, which included last-minute independent expenditures of more than $100,000 from National Association of Realtors Fund. But Cho benefited from about $1.49 million in spending by his campaign and independent expenidtures, according to the most recent figures from the city’s Ethics Commission.
During the campaign, O’Farrell touted his deep roots in the district and extensive knowledge of neighborhood issues while Choi called for a broader vision and the ability to work across council district boundaries to improve conditions. But in the final weeks of the campaign, the focus shifted away issues as tension rose between the two campaigns, which have traded charges of voter fraud and race-baiting.