This story has been updated twice to reflect vote totals released late Thursday afternoon.
Late this afternoon, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan announced the second post-election results update in the Presidential General Election. In the Los Angeles 4th District City Council race, Nithya Raman continues to lead incumbent Councilmember David Ryu by just under 5 percentage points.
The update includes 156,410 Vote by Mail ballots processed since Election Night, and consists of ballots received since Sunday, November 1 via USPS or dropped off at a drop box or Vote Center. The total election results count is now 3,538,953, which is 61.98% of eligible Los Angeles County voters. The estimated number of outstanding ballots to be counted is now 791,200. More results are expected to be released on Friday, November 6.
There are still 618,200 outstanding ballots to be processed from Tuesday’s election, according to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean C. Logan, who released the preliminary estimate late Wednesday evening. That number reflects county-wide ballots but candidates in the Los Angeles 4th District City Council race are waiting for the ballots to be counted before declaring victory or conceding defeat.
Nithya Raman is currently leading with 52.39% of the vote (59,117 individual votes) over incumbent Councilmember David Ryu, with 47.61% or 53,713 votes as of approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. Both candidates have continued to receive more votes since election day, as more ballots have been counted, but the percentages have remained essentially the same, with a slight edge going to Raman.
Yesterday we reported Raman was leading by 52.38% (56,329 votes) to Ryu’s 47.62% (51,2013 votes). Raman’s margin of new votes was just 278 votes.
County officials said they plan to release more county-wide data later this afternoon.
The Nithya Raman campaign released the following statement Wednesday:
“This is a moment of hope. While we are still waiting on the full results, there is absolutely no doubt that progress won in Los Angeles last night. The incredible victories by the movements for racial, carceral, environmental, and housing justice will reverberate throughout our city for years to come. I could not be more proud to be a part of these movements, and to stand with each and every resident who cast their ballots for a fairer, kinder, and more equitable future.
When we began this campaign 15 months ago, one simple idea brought our team together: Angelenos want to help their neighbors, and all they need is for their local government to give them the tools to do so.
In 15 months our campaign brought in over 2,000 volunteers to help us tell the story of our city; of the immense powers of LA City Council, and the potential to curb our greatest crises. We released eleven detailed policies, created in partnership with those closest to the issues and built commitments of co-governance that we will carry with us. We raised $172,000 in small dollar donations, with seven thousand unique donors. We are so proud of this coalition and so grateful to all of the volunteers and residents who resonated with our work.
While we await the final vote counts, the results already show us the path to the city we believe is possible. We are working to create a city where every Angeleno can thrive. We are on this collective journey together, propelled by the hope of what is possible.”
Meanwhile, Ryu campaign officials told the Buzz they are waiting for more ballots to be counted before releasing a statement.
The race has attracted considerable attention because Ryu would be the first incumbent city council member to lose their seat in 17 years, according to the Los Angeles Times, which also reported:
“While votes are still being counted, Raman is in a strong position to unseat Councilman David Ryu, making him the first L.A. council member to be ousted in 17 years. Her first-place showing — she had 52.4% as of Wednesday — represents “a political earthquake” for City Hall, said Zev Yaroslavsky, a former councilman and county supervisor who heads the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Yaroslavsky predicted a Raman victory would embolden the movement that rallied for her — younger, grassroots activists who favored Bernie Sanders and are frustrated with City Hall — to get even more involved in the 2022 election, when eight council seats and three citywide seats will be up for grabs.
“Anybody at City Hall who doesn’t recognize the significance of this election,” he added, “is making a mistake.””
Alignment of the election with the presidential race, which drew so many more voters, might have also been a factor working against Ryu, reported the Times:
“That change produced much higher turnout among younger, poorer and nonwhite voters across L.A., said political science professor Fernando Guerra, who led the commission that pushed for the switch to the city’s election schedule. Raman also ran in a year when progressive Democrats were pitted against liberal Democrats in local contests — with progressives gaining the upper hand, he said.
“She was able to stake herself out to the left of Ryu in a city and county that’s becoming even more left,” Guerra said. “She captured the growth in that vote.”
Had the city election dates not changed, Ryu likely would have won reelection, Guerra said.”
Click here to read the entire LA Times story.