By Simone Wilson
Update: LaBonge squeaked out a win with 55.09 percent; O'Grady came through with 30.93 and Box with 13.98. A total of 16,257 voters participated in the District 4 election.
Update: The vote for O'Grady has risen to 29.37 percent, making him the golden underdog of this City Council election. Box's vote is up, too, but still dwindles at 13.55 percent. Incumbent LaBonge might start squirming if the challengers cut into his current 57 percent any more than they already have. (If he falls under 50, there'll be a runoff election). Half the district's votes are still unreported -- so check back!
If absentee ballots are any judge of tonight's election -- and they usually are -- it looks like City Council District 4 has no chance of booting incumbent Tom LaBonge.
The district was set for a possible upheaval:
Maybe we were being overoptimistic, but Stephen Box seemed like a strong contender after his LA Weekly cover, LA Daily News endorsement and L.A. Clean Sweep funding boost; third candidate and lovable farm boy Tomas O'Grady even had the Los Angeles Times on his side.
But alas, the Los Angeles City Council incumbency machine keeps a-churnin'. Preliminary results have LaBonge at 62.76 winning (unfortunately, that's real winning, not loser #winning), higher than most other districts' incumbents so far.
Dude must have some serious diehards, and they must not get out much, because we could have sworn Box and O'Grady were making some headway this election season. (Shows how important newspapers are to this city. Humph.)
O'Grady's at a distant second with 24.41 percent, while Box is barely breathing at 12.83 percent.
Keep it glued as we follow this thing out to the bitter end. In the meantime, replay the following gem from Box at a recent candidate forum (back when things were all hopeful and rose-colored), in the new context that he's the one headed toward the iceberg:
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Sure was good while it lasted though, wasn't it? Stay tuned for District 4's final results.
Originally posted at 9:45 p.m.