The final tally is in: By 3:16 a.m., with 100 percent of precincts reporting, newcomer Ron Galperin had decisively beaten City Hall veteran Dennis Zine, getting elected L.A.'s new controller with 56.2 percent of the vote.
Galperin's victory is arguably the biggest upset of this city's municipal elections — the Century City attorney was the only outsider to run for citywide office. He was able to beat Zine, a longtime member of the city council and the LAPD, despite raising far less money: $584,433 to Zine's $1.14 million.
Other than an unsuccessful run for City Council, this was Galperin's first attempt at elected office. But his message of fiscal reform earned endorsements from the Democratic Party, the L.A. Times and the L.A. Daily News. He finished first in the six-man primary in March.
As for Zine, he had been damaged by the 2010 revelation that he was dating a lobbyist — but failed to recuse himself from votes involving her clients. A longtime Republican who declined to state a party affiliation in this race, he was apparently not helped by the endorsement of outgoing L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.