South Bay Assembly Special Election to Be Decided in June Runoff

Election in USA - voting at the ballot box

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles will face fellow Democrat Tina Simon McKinnor in a runoff June 7 to fill the vacant 62nd Assembly District seat.  

Pullen-Miles led the field of four Democrats with 37.21% of the vote while McKinnor was second with 35.38%, according to semifinal results released by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Tuesday night.  

Because no candidate received a majority, there will be a runoff between Pullen-Miles and McKinnor coinciding with the statewide primary election. The winner will serve until Dec. 4.  

McKinnor is the director of civic engagement for LA Voice, which describes itself as ``a multi-racial, multi-faith organization with a mission to transform Los Angeles into a county that reflects the human dignity of all communities, with racial and economic equity and abundant life for all.''  

Hawthorne City Councilwoman Angie Reyes English was third with 14.07% and Venice Neighborhood Council member Nico Ruderman fourth with 13.35%.  

Ballots were sent to all voters in the district which stretches from Venice on the north, Lawndale on the south, the unincorporated Westmont and West Athens areas on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Tuesday was the deadline to vote or submit ballots.  

Turnout was 7.78%.  

The special election was triggered by Autumn R. Burke's resignation Feb. 1 citing family priorities.  

Pullen-Miles, Burke's district director, announced his candidacy for the seat Feb. 1 and received Burke's endorsement that day.  

``As your next Assembly member, I will do for our district what I have already done as mayor and council member -- create good paying jobs, help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, combat our homelessness crisis and keep our communities safe and thriving,'' Pullen-Miles said in announcing his candidacy.  

According to a biography supplied by his campaign, Pullen-Miles moved from Oklahoma to California when he was 19 years old with $25 in his pocket in search of better opportunities. He did not have a job and did not have a permanent place to live when he arrived, spending many months sleeping on couches while staying with friends.  

Pullen-Miles was elected mayor of Lawndale in 2014, the first Black person to hold the position. He was previously elected to three terms on the City Council.  

Pullen-Miles also worked on the staffs of then-Assemblyman Carl Washington, and then-Sens. Ted Lieu and Jenny Oropeza.  

McKinnor has pledged to support the extension of COVID-19 sick days and support for businesses; an ``all hands on deck'' approach to dealing with homelessness; efforts to reduce the number of people who are incarcerated; and single-payer health care.  

McKinnor is a former operational director for the California Democratic Party and chief of staff to several Assembly members.  

The district also includes El Segundo, Hawthorne and Inglewood; the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and Del Rey, and the unincorporated communities of Del Aire, Lennox and Marina del Rey.  

All four candidates on the special election ballot are also on the June 7 ballot for the full two-year term in the redistricted 61st Assembly District, along with environmental consultant James Arlandus Spencer, a Republican.

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