Update #2: Reformer pulls into second and talks with L.A. Weekly! see Seat 5 below.

Update: Numbers are rolling in: looking like more of the same, see below.

Absentee votes can't always predict the election, but they tend to be very telling. And they are in:

An L.A. Times investigation exposing fraud among incumbents had people wondering whether voters would side against them.

It looks like incumbent Mona Field will take seat 1. If a runoff ends up hapenning it will most likely be with Gwen Walker.

Update: Field now has 59.23 percent, Gwen Walker in next at just 15.16 percent

Seat 3 could still be taken by reform candidate Joyce Burrell Garcia, but Steven Veres is in the lead so far.

Update: Veres is at 56.51 percent and Burrell Garcia isn't far behind at 43.49 percent. However, unless Veres comes in under 50 percent, no runoff election will happen here.

Update #2: Reformer Gutierrez may be in the runoff:

In Seat 5 Scott Svonkin, who was campaigning with the incumbents, has a lead, but it seems a runoff is likely. If that happens it will be against either Nicole Michelle Chase or Octavio Pescador.

Update: It looks as though a May 17 runoff election is very likely here. Svonkin is still leading, but only at 33.05 percent. Behind him are Pescador at 13.96 percent and reform candidate Lydia Gutierrez, who has been gaining and is now at 13.28 percent.

And It's still tight after that: Chase is now at 12.83 percent, and Mark Lee is in it at 11.55 percent.

Update #2: Reform Candidate Gutierrez is in place for a possible runoff at least for now! She's got 14.21 percent, second to Svonkin.

“It is looking good,” Gutierrez tells L.A. Weekly. “It was a rough start. What happened was, the first numbers that came in were from absentee ballots: cast before all the [L.A Times and L.A. Weekly] reporting. It's going to be an uphill battle still — a very strong uphill battle. But it's worth the fight.”

Close behind Gutierrez is Pescador with 14.15.

Seat 7 does look like an incumbent Miguel Santiago.

Update: Santiago is at 66.14 percent.

Contact Mars Melnicoff at mmelnicoff@laweekly.com / follow @marsmelnicoff

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