Top 2 Candidates in Sixth District Special Election Head to Run Off

Voting sign on the walkway

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Community relations manager Imelda Padilla and council aide Marisa Alcaraz are officially headed for a runoff on June 27 to decide who will represent the Los Angeles City Council's Sixth District, as the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office Friday certified the final voting results of the special election.

Padilla led the seven-candidate field with 3,424 votes, or 25.65%. Alcaraz took second with 2,821 votes, or 21.13%, just 297 votes ahead of homeless service manager Marco Santana.

A total of 13,510 ballots were processed and counted for 11.40% of eligible voters casting ballots in District 6. Since no candidate received a majority of the votes cast in the special election, a runoff will be conducted in June.

On Tuesday, May 2, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is slated to declare the election officially concluded. According to the county registrar's office, the official election canvass began April 5, during that period, all outstanding ballots were reviewed and tallied once verified.

The district consists of Van Nuys, Arleta, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sun Valley and the eastern portions of North Hills and North Hollywood.

Former Council President Nury Martinez represented the district until October, when she resigned her council presidency and then, two days later, her seat altogether after she was caught making racist comments in a meeting that was secretly taped and leaked to the news media.

The Sixth District is being overseen by a non-voting caretaker, the city's chief legislative analyst, Sharon Tso. A non-voting caretaker does not hold a seat on the council, but oversees the council office to make sure the district provides constituent services and other basic functions.

The winner of the special election will finish Martinez's term, which ends in December 2024.

Padilla has pledged to prioritize "an immediate solution to the unhoused crisis because what is currently occurring is not working."

"I will propose an emergency remediation of encampments, connecting the unhoused population to essential services that will support them in finding housing, employment, and health services," Padilla said on her campaign's website.

"I will work cohesively with all stakeholders, residents, non-profits organizations, religious leaders, business owners and health organizations to develop and implement sensible hyper-local solutions that make our communities safer, sanitary, and sustainable."

The 35-year-old Padilla was born in Van Nuys and raised in Sun Valley, graduating from Roscoe Elementary School, Byrd Middle School and Polytechnic High School. She received a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's degree from Cal State Northridge.

Alcaraz has said she "will prioritize helping people without homes off our streets and into housing, where they can get the care they need to get back on their feet."

Alcaraz has said she supports conducting extensive outreach and having a "Housing First" approach.

"We need to continue to invest in outreach teams, especially the multi-disciplinary teams that include a nurse and mental health professional," Alcaraz said.

The 38-year-old Alcaraz is deputy chief of staff and environmental policy director to Ninth District Councilman Curren Price. She was raised in Lake Balboa, graduating from Birmingham High School. She received a bachelor's degree from UC Irvine and a master's degree from USC.

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