L.A. Councilman Bernard Parks appears to have survived a $1.2 million onslaught from organized labor, but the race is close enough that the outcome may not be known for sure for a couple weeks.
Parks' top opponent, Forescee Hogan-Rowles, is not conceding. She is holding out hope that when late absentee and provisional ballots are counted, Parks will be forced into a runoff.
With 100% of precincts reporting, Parks has 50.9% of the vote. He cleared the majority threshold needed to avoid a May 17 runoff by a bare 140 votes. There are still an unknown number of ballots yet to be counted.
Parks declared victory at around 1:30 a.m. last night. But this morning, his campaign manager was taking more of a wait-and-see approach.
"We're hopeful," said Bernard Parks Jr. "We feel good about where we are."
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Parks called a 5 a.m. press conference for the morning TV shows. But he canceled it, ostensibly because he needed to read agenda material for today's council meeting, but likely also because the race remains in limbo.
Hogan-Rowles' campaign has said there could be as many as 3,000 uncounted ballots.
If Parks does as well with those ballots as he did with ballots cast on Election Day, then he would finish with 50.6% of the vote. Put another way, he would have to underperform his Election Day tally by about 5% in order to be forced into a runoff. That could happen, but it seems unlikely.
Hogan-Rowles, however, seems unlikely to concede before all the ballots are counted. The City Clerk's office has three weeks to certify the result, and may take a couple of weeks before announcing a final tally.