With more than 82% of precincts reporting, O’Farrell had captured 53% of the ballots ballots versus nearly 47% for Choi , according to unofficial results posted online by the City Clerk. Choi narrowed the margin as more precincts were counted but O’Farrell has remained above 50%.
Choi, a labor organizer and former Public Works commissioner, and O’Farrell, a former top aide to Councilman Garcetti, 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.
* This story was updated on Wednesday, May 22 @ 12:29 a.m.