A former city Public Works commissioner, Monica Rodriguez, emerged victorious today in the race to fill a San Fernando Valley-area City Council seat. In another race, Councilman Gil Cedillo was celebrating a commanding re-election win over an opponent whose campaign fizzled amid a wave of questionable internet posts condemned by critics as derogatory and racially insensitive.
Monica Rodriguez Wins Tight 7th District Race
The 7th District race between Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian was neck-and-neck throughout election night, but Rodriguez slowly pulled ahead, finishing the night with about 53 percent of the vote.
The 7th Council District includes includes Sunland-Tujunga, Mission Hills, Pacoima and other neighborhoods in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Rodriguez and Torossian were facing off for an open seat, which was vacated by
Felipe Fuentes last year when he resigned to take a job as a lobbyist.
Rodriguez and Torossian emerged from a 20-candidate field in the
primary. Rodriguez is a former Public Works commissioner who has also worked as
an aide for some past council members, while Torossian is the director of
planning and environment for Councilman Paul Krekorian.
The race became a showdown between two City Hall insiders, with
Torossian receiving Krekorian’s endorsement, while Rodriguez has been endorsed
by Garcetti, who appointed her to the Board of Public Works.
Cedillo Narrowly Missed Being Re-Elected in March Primary
Meanwhile, Cedillo, who narrowly missed being re-elected during the March primary, crushed challenger Joe Bray-Ali in Tuesday’s runoff, completing the downfall of a once-hopeful challenger.
Bray-Ali turned heads when he forced Cedillo into the runoff because he
has never held elective office, and no incumbent has been beaten in a City
Council election since 2003. He picked up more momentum when he received the
endorsements of the Los Angeles Times and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
Bray-Ali Lost Endorsements Over Online Posts
However, Bray-Ali lost both endorsements in late April when a series of
racist and derogatory statements he had made online came to light. One of the
posts included the racial slur known as the N-word, and others appeared to mock
overweight people and the transgender community.
Following the revelations, Bray-Ali was denounced by numerous civil
rights and LGBT leaders in Los Angeles, and seven City Council members called
for him to drop out of the race.
Bray-Ali at first apologized for remarks, then contended some of them
were being taken out of context. He declined to pull out of the race.
Cedillo had a long list of endorsements, including Mayor Eric Garcetti,
eight City Council members, Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-
The 1st Council District includes Chinatown, Highland Park, Westlake and
other northeast Los Angeles neighborhoods.