David Ryu will become Los Angeles’ first Korean-American City Council member after he defeated Carolyn Ramsay in the race to represent Council District 4, which sprawls from Los Feliz and Silver Lake to Sherman Oaks. Ryu will replace Tom LaBonge, a Silver Lake resident who is termed out after 14 years in office.
With all precincts reporting, Ryu, a health care development executive, captured 53.85% of the more than 20,000 votes cast, according to unofficial results from the City Clerk.
District 4 includes Los Feliz and the northwest corner of Silver Lake. In this part of the district, Ramsay, who has served as one of LaBonge’s top deputies, was the top vote-getter across Los Feliz and the portion of Silver Lake northwest of the reservoirs, according to an L.A. Times voting map. However, Ryu garnered a slim majority of the votes in the area northeast of the reservoirs.
Ramsay had been backed by many of the city’s top political leaders, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, and had won endorsements from the L.A. Times and Daily News.
While Ryu will become the first Korean American elected to the City Council, he downplayed that at his election night gathering, according to the L.A. Times. Said Ryu:
“And today, it’s historic not because I’m Asian American. It’s historic because we are finally telling City Hall that we do not like business as usual.”