Ballot Box: Council District 1 voters to pick new councilman in runoff election

Gil Cedillo (left) and Jose Gardea

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.

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  1. If you want your water, sewer, electric, and trash fees to go through the roof, vote for Gil Cedillo. He is backed with all that filthy money from the DWP thugs who already earn more than 40% than their City Hall and private sector counterparts. If you like paying DWP workers gold-plated pensions while they go to strip joints on City time using City vehicles, Gil Cedillo is your man. He’s bought and paid for in Sacramento and he will be bought and paid for in Los Angeles by the unions who are robbing the taxpayers.

    On the other hand, if you like the re-birth of MacArthur Park, the bikepaths and parks along the Los Angeles River, the creative collaboration that brought Hermosa Vista park to Belmont, and the exciting new businesses popping up in Highland Park, Jose Gardea is your man. Jose is a listener who has lived in the community of Highland Park with his wife and kids for years. Our family will be voting for Jose. We need to get the word out about his quiet but effective work in making positive change in the our communities.

  2. This is a big deal. Can’t say it any better than Melanie did, though you might add the marquee issues of massive development in Elysian Park (all in the name of temporary “local jobs!”) and a 710 tunnel (again, jobs jobs jobs!). Gardea really needs to step it up and get some billboards. Sounds dumb, but it’d make a difference in conveying to people that this is indeed a competative race, and that they have a decision to make. If most people perceive that the concensus among other voters is Cedillo, then a disconcerting number of people will blindly vote for him. And right now, with the lopsided number of Cedillo billboards and yard signs, Gardea’s ceding those voters to him.

  3. There’s nothing wrong with Gil Cedillo. He’s a typical national level politician and he belongs in Washington. His run for congress would have succeeded were it not for in-over-his-head Pleitez the spoiler. Too bad. But sympathy is not a good reason to vote for someone who is effectively biding his time until another national or state level opportunity comes around. It’s a form of carpetbagging, frankly. And that 178 thousand salary isn’t a bad thing, either. That he has resorted to negative politics and character attacks speaks of his inappropriateness for council level office.

    Jose Gardea, on the other hand, has been working for and lived in the council district for the entirety of his career. I can’t think of a better person to represent the Council District 1.

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