Council District 1 candidates Gil Cedillo and Jose Gardea will compete in a runoff election after no candidate won 50% of the vote in the March 5 primary to claim victory, according to final results released late Tuesday by the City Clerk. Cedillo, a former state legislator, garnered the most votes and came within a fraction of a percentage point –49.37% – of winning more than 50% of the March 5 vote, according to the unofficial tally. But with thousands of provisional, mail-in and damaged ballots that needed to be analyzed and counted, there was still a chance that Cedillo might end up with the necessary 50% to win the race to replace termed-out Councilman Ed Reyes. The final tally, however, showed that Cedillo captured 49.32% of the 17,010 of the ballots cast and Gardea, who now works as Chief of Staff for Reyes, won 43.45%; third place finisher Jesse Rosas has 7.21% of the vote.
Cedillo and Gardea will now compete in a May 21 runoff to represent Council District 1–which includes Cypress Park, Mt. Washington, Lincoln Heights and portions of Echo Park and Highland Park–based on the final tally. The final results are subject to formal certification by the City Council.
More than a million dollars has been spent so far on the Council District 1 election. Cedillo’s campaign spent nearly $450,000 on the election in addition to being supported by $331,000 in expenditures from independent groups, according to figures provided earlier this month by the city’s Ethics Commission. Gardea’s campaign, meanwhile, spent more than $360,000 plus attracting more than $26,000 in independent expenditures.