Councilman Bernard Parks has officially won re-election, fending off a $1.2 million labor campaign and avoiding a runoff by 225 votes.
It took more than two weeks to confirm that Parks had won a majority of the votes cast on March 8. After counting thousands of provisional and late absentee ballots, the City Clerk confirmed early this morning that Parks had been re-elected with 51.2% of the vote.
His nearest challenger, Forescee Hogan-Rowles, took 43.5%.
Unsurprisingly, the two campaigns have different takes on what the results mean.
Hogan-Rowles issued the following statement to supporters:
We came just a few votes away from forcing Bernard Parks into a runoff — even though he used to be one of the most popular leaders in the City. Our campaign sends an important message to elected leaders like Bernard Parks, who ignore their constituents and the workers who keep our city working: no matter how popular you think you are you can't take the people for granted.
Parks, meanwhile, charged his union opponents with wasting their members' dues:
Parks' efforts to keep Los Angeles from declaring bankruptcy – urging layoffs and furloughs on a workforce the city could no longer afford – angered the city's three most powerful labor unions, who have now spent over $10 million to defeat him in the last two elections. Their failed efforts in the current race equated to $149 of rank-and-file union members' dues spent for each vote his opponent received, or $50,000 for each of the 24 precincts she carried, vs. the 70 that Parks carried.
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