LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Retired Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Alex Villanueva dramatically expanded his lead today in his bid to unseat incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell, prompting him to declare victory.
Vote totals released Friday showed that Villanueva's lead from the Nov. 6 election has expanded to 57,810 votes, up from about 22,000 on Tuesday. The latest tally gives Villanueva 51.3 percent of the vote, compared to 48.7 percent for McDonnell.An incumbent Los Angeles County sheriff hasn't lost a re-election bid in more than a century. According to the county, there are still 422,600 votes left to count.
There was no immediate comment from McDonnell, but Villanueva declared victory.``With a lead of nearly 58,000 votes, we can finally say that there's a #NewSheriffinTown,'' Villanueva wrote on his Twitter page. ``We owe it all to our volunteers and everyone who supported our campaign. Now the work really begins as I prepare to hit the ground running on day one as your new Los Angeles County sheriff.''McDonnell continued to express confidence earlier this week that he would overcome the deficit, even as Villanueva's lead grew from just 335 votes last Friday to more than 22,000 on Tuesday.