O’Farrell declares victory over Choi in Council District 13 race

O’Farrell (left) and Choi

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.

Related Links:


  1. As a longtime union memebr, I am disgusted by the hateful and vial way that the unions depicted Mitch O’farrell.
    These unions were using tactics like the far right and tea part uses against Obama. But as you see in the results, all were not duped into believing those lies. Hopefully this is a lesson to learn. Sometimes elections cannot be bought.
    Rhodes…Member of IATSE

  2. I am so glad to see the triumph of good over evil.

  3. John Choi ran a simply despicable campaign, and took no responsibility at any point for the malicious tactics of his surrogates . Let’s see what the next community this lightweight opportunist parachutes into. I have zero expectation that Choi rides it out and attempts to stay and better C13. Moreover, the labor mobilization against O’Farrell and Garcetti this cycle was enough for me — a guy who grew up in a union household — to turn a real jaundiced eye toward all union political activity going forward.

  4. Congrats Mitch!! Happy to have you as our Councilman!!

  5. I am proud of Mitch for not sinking to Choi’s level. Choi pulled out all the stops in his lies. It great to know that concerned citizens wons over union interest groups that don’t care about the district just advancing their salaries and perks (take that DWP)

  6. I received a text yesterday at about 7pm imploring me to vote for Choi and calling him “the voice of his generation.” I couldn’t stop laughing for about ten minutes.

  7. 2old4technology

    Mitch won in part because he walked the streets and knocked on the doors of constituents like me who couldn’t have given a darn one way or the other and made his case. AND because he didn’t sink to the despicable character assassination tactics of John Choi. Integrity wins every time because believe it or not, most people are fairly discerning and see through the game playing.

  8. Money can’t buy love. Congrats Mitch, it’s a good day in Echo Park!

    • It’s a great day in Echo Park! Congratulations councilmember-elect O’Farrell…we’ve been waiting for you Mitch.

  9. Hooray! Time to dance in the streets of Echo Park… which Choi couldn’t have done with a road map, GPS, and a guide dog.

  10. And, I must add, Choi’s campaign was one of the most despicable I have ever witnessed.

  11. I am so thrilled that Mitch will be the leader for our district!

  12. Congratulations to Mitch, he is invested in the best interests of our community, unlike his competitor.

    As a lifelong registered Democrat I am completely appalled that the Democratic party would support such a carpetbagger as Choi and pull out all the ugly stops that were used during the campaign. I know the party plays as mean and dirty as the Republicans, but that they would support someone so out of touch, someone so clearly not invested in our community sickens me. Time to rethink my party affiliation, time to go independent.

  13. Betcha John Choi already packed up his toothbrush and left.

  14. Just saw a moving van in front John choi’s
    house…Bound for Orange County

  15. Hey John, ever get the feeling your not very well liked here in Echo Park?

  16. Is anyone else not deeply disturbed at the sheer fact that John Choi got that many votes in the first place? How? Why?

  17. David Rockello

    Congratulations Council Member-elect O’Farrell!

    1,332 Voters made the difference… and now you can make a difference for the next 12 years in Council District 13.

    Folks this is why you all need to pay attention and Vote; 6% made it happen for the rest of us.

    Now if we could all get things going in a positive direction; CD13 can be what we all have been waiting for under Mitch’s Leadership.

  18. Where did all that money go? He may have outspent, but Mitch O’Farrell came TO MY HOUSE to talk to me. He had my vote anyway, but seriously, in a local election, people matter. So glad to see his efforts validated.

  19. The public unions and that arm of the Democratic Party have become common thieves of our local government. I am a member of a union family but even I now support ending public employee collective bargaining except for certain limited topics. Give the Police, Firefighters, or SEIU an inch and they will hoodwink the taxpayers for a mile. They repulse and disgust me.

  20. Choi, don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out…on second thought, it should.

  21. What would you say to a bully? Echo Park?

    If there someone right up in your grill what would you say?

    If there was someone pushing you around, telling you what to do, what would you say?

    Step off?



Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *