NORTH HOLLYWOOD – The final vote count in the race to fill the vacant City Council seat in the San Fernando Valley’s Second District shows candidate Paul Krekorian with an even stronger victory than was announced when the polls closed on September 22, while support for second place finisher Christine Essel dropped off, according to information released by the L.A. City Clerk Monday.
With all 109 precincts reporting and the counting completed, Krekorian picked up an additional 686 votes out of the 2,054 votes that were counted after Election Day. Krekorian’s margin of victory grew to 1,038 votes and more than 6% over second place finisher Essel, who is an appointee of Mayor Villaraigosa and the former head of the Central City Association.
“This victory proves that a campaign for reform based on broad grassroots support and neighborhood-based organization can defeat the big money and the business-as-usual connections of the City Hall insiders,” Krekorian said. “I am very pleased that the voters of the Second District responded so positively to my message of reform and change. The committed support and hard work of over 200 dedicated volunteers made it possible for me to win a resounding victory, even though my opponent outspent me by more than 2 to 1 with special interest money delivered for her by the lobbyists for powerful developers and the wealthiest corporations in the country. Clearly the voters of the San Fernando Valley saw through Chris Essel’s ugly negative campaign of baseless attacks, innuendos and outright lies. I’m very proud to have earned such broad community support through my record of common sense problem-solving representation and excellent constituent service, my vision for promoting pubic safety and protecting our neighborhoods from overdevelopment, and my independence from the City Hall power elite.”
Kre korian’s decisive victory over Essel stood in stark contrast to the poll results that the Essel campaign announced in late August. That poll supposedly showed Essel with a slight lead, and Krekorian’s support at only 15%, even before Essel launched her smear campaign of attack mailers. The final tally of voters showed Krekorian with 34.26% of the vote and a significant margin of victory, demonstrating that either the Essel poll was completely unreliable, or the Essel mail campaign was completely ineffective.
Krekorian counted on the support of more than 60 community leaders and neighborhood council members from throughout the district. He also enjoyed the support of the city’s firefighters, Sheriff Lee Baca, the California Nurses Association and the Sierra Club. Krekorian will now face second-place finisher Essel in a run-off election on December 8.