O’Farrell faces challenge in 13th Council District

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Wave Staff Report

LOS ANGELES — The race for mayor between U.S. Rep. Karen Bass and billionaire developer Rick Caruso is the race drawing most of the interest on the Nov. 8 ballot, but there are other key local races, including the 13th City Council District where incumbent Mitch O’Farrell is being challenged by labor organizer Hugo Soto-Martinez.

O’Farrell is seeking his third and final term on the council, but trailed Soto-Martinez by more than 4,000 votes in the June primary.

O’Farrell served on then-Councilman Eric Garcetti’s staff when Garcetti represented the district on the City Council and succeeded Garcetti in 2013. He identifies himself as the first Native American to serve on the City Council — he’s a member of the Wyandotte nation — and is one of three openly gay elected officials in City Hall.

Soto-Martinez is a former hotel worker who became a labor organizer. He has been with Unite Here Local 11 for 15 years.

He has been endorsed by two current City Council members — Nathya Raman and Mike Bonin — as well as former Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo and Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farmworkers.

Another race with local interest is the battle to replace Sheila Kuehl on the county Board of Supervisors. It pits West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath against state Sen. Robert Hertzberg.

Hertzberg has spent 14 years in the state Legislature, six in the Assembly from 1996 to 2002 and the last eight years in the state Senate. He was Assembly speaker from 2000 to 2002.

Horvath has served on the West Hollywood City Council since 2015 and served a previous two-year stint from 2009 to 2011. Kuehl has endorsed Horvath.

Horvath is giving up her seat on the West Hollywood City Council to run for county supervisor. Another West Hollywood leader, Councilman John D’Amico is also giving up his seat, meaning Mayor Lauren Meister is facing 11 challengers, including three former council members, John Duran, John Heilman and Steve Martin. Also on the ballot are Chelsea Byers, a nonprofit director; Zekiah Wright, an employment rights attorney; Ben Savage, an actor and producer; Robert Oliver, a small business owner; Jordan Cockeram, a finance director; Adam Darvish, a health care executive; Sarah Adolphson, a local business owner; and Marquita Thomas, a chamber executive.

In the race for Los Angeles city attorney, Faisal Gill and Hydee Feldstein Soto are battling to succeed incumbent Mike Feuer, who is termed out of office. Gill finished four percentage points ahead of Soto in a tightly contested June primary.

Certified public accountant and housing justice advocate Kenneth Mejia is running against City Councilman Paul Koretz for city controller. Koretz can’t seek re-election to the City Council because of term limits.

Mejia defeated Koretz by more than 20 percentage points in the June primary.

on their way to a November runoff. Mejia received 38.68% of the vote, compared to 24.98% for Koretz.

In another county race, incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva is facing a runoff against retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.

In a race for Congress, Democratic incumbent Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, will face G “Maebe A Girl” Pudlo, a Democrat neighborhood council member from Silver Lake. Under state law, congressional and state legislative races feature the top two vote-getters regardless of percentages in the general election.

In the open 51st Assembly District seat, which serves Hollywood and West Hollywood, Rick Chavez Zbur, a civil rights attorney, will face Louis Abramson, a Democrat community organizer from Los Angeles.

The ballot also includes the race for governor and U.S. Senate as well as other state constitutional offices and county judge races.

Los Angeles County is operating 118 vote centers that will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Nov. 7, allowing residents to cast their in-person ballots. Beginning Nov. 5, about 640 vote centers will be open across the county.

Residents can visit any vote center throughout the county through Election Day Nov. 8, regardless of their place of residence.

On Election Day, the vote centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Residents can locate the nearest vote center by searching online at locator.lavote.gov.

Residents also can return their vote-by-mail ballots at drop boxes located throughout the county.

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly listed Marina Torres as Faisal Gill’s opponent for Los Angeles city attorney. The Wave apologizes for the error.)


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