Image courtesy Ysabel Jurado

Political newcomer Ysabel Jurado on Tuesday surged ahead of incumbent Kevin de León in the race for the City of Los Angeles’ 14th District City council seat.

Jurado is now ahead by 318 votes, according to Tuesday’s election results released by the LA County Registrar-Recorder. De León holds the second spot, with thousands of ballots still to be counted in this race.

This means that Jurado, a tenants rights attorney, is likely headed to a runoff in November from a strong position, after surpassing political veterans who were also aiming to prevent another term by de León. Sitting Assembly members Miguel Santiago, now in third, and Wendy Carrillo, in fourth place, had also answered the call. 

Since election day on March 5, the results have shifted significantly. While many people voted on election day, many LA residents opted to mail in their ballots and ballots are still being counted by the LA County Registrar-Recorder. The final result of the election should be certified before the end of this month.

De León announced his re-election bid after resisting calls that he resign. Secret tapes leaked in the fall of 2022 recorded him and other city leaders making racist remarks as part of a conversation around plans to manipulate the political process to their own advantage. 

“It makes me feel real good,” Jurado said Tuesday, in reaction to the latest count putting her in first place. “It’s a little oomph, but also just a testament to the change that this district is looking for.”

She said that the candidates in the race ran on a variety of views, leadership styles, relationships to community, and how they wanted to represent that community. She thinks people are “just tired of career politicians – so I think that was important.”

In the 4th LA City Council District race, which covers much of the southern portion of the San Fernando Valley and Koreatown, incumbent Nithya Raman now has more than 50% of the votes. If that holds, she would secure a second term outright, and avoid a runoff, which had seemed like a possibility before today. Ethan Weaver, who launched the stronger of the two challenges to Raman’s re-election bid, has 39% of the votes. Major real estate developers — including previous Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, landlord Douglas Emmett, and real estate broker Brad Conroy – have spent significant resources in trying to unseat Raman. 

LA County officials are expected to continue counting ballots over the next few days and are expecting to be able to finalize the results before the end of the month.

Voters already made their decision when polls closed a week ago, but the drip of updates over the past week has built up some suspense and taken dramatic turns – mostly driven by the different political leanings of voters based on when they go to the polls and potentially whether they like to vote by mail or in-person. 

In the 2nd LA City Council District race, results continue to show that businesswoman Jillian Burgos and former Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian are in the top two spots. In third place is Sam Kbushyan, who was in second place initially, following election night ballot counting. Burgos surpassed Kbushyan late last week in the results.

In the 10th LA City Council District race, Councilmember Heather Hutt appears to be forced into the runoff, and based on the results from today, that looks to be by attorney Grace Yoo, who has consistently stayed in second place since election night.

Incumbents Imelda Padilla, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and John Lee have commanding leads in their races that should have them winning their reelection bids.

The term LA City Council candidates are seeking begins in December.

Elizabeth has been on the local government beat since 2006, and likes making her friends take public transportation for her birthday.