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Senator Price, Assemblyman Cedillo win City Council seats

City News Service | 5/22/2013, 7:56 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The political road between Sacramento and Los Angeles City Hall was being well-traveled today, with Sen. Curren Price, D-Los Angeles, and former Assemblyman Gil Cedillo claiming City Council seats and another former assemblywoman advancing to a runoff election in hopes of representing another council district.

In the 1st District, Cedillo earned 52.4 percent of the vote in Tuesday's runoff battle with Jose Gardea, the chief of staff for termed-out Councilman Ed Reyes. The district represents an area that includes northeast Los Angeles, Chinatown, Pico Union and MacArthur Park.

Meanwhile, Price won 52.7 percent of the vote against Ana Cubas, former chief of staff for Councilman Jose Huizar, in the race for the 9th District seat representing South Los Angeles. Independent expenditure groups poured upward of $600,000 into Price's campaign.

In the third council runoff race, Mitch O'Farrell, a one-time field deputy for mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, defeated Public Works Commissioner John Choi in the battle for Garcetti's 13th District seat representing the Hollywood area. The race proved acrimonious, with the campaigns exchanging accusations of voter fraud.

"I am proud and humbled by the outpouring of community support which has made this win possible," O'Farrell said. "... I am looking forward to the challenge ahead, and I will be proud to represent the 13th District in City Hall."

Council President Herb Wesson was pleased to see a Sacramento-oriented incoming council, declaring today that "this class has the potential to be ... one of the best councils in a long time."

"You will see us move faster," said Wesson, who spent six years in the state Assembly, two of it as its speaker. "One thing that frustrates you in Sacramento is the pace, so whenever there is an opening to try to move something quickly, you seize that opening. In Sacramento things happen ... at light speed, so you and your staff have to be on their toes."

Cedillo, Price and O'Farrell will be among six new faces that will join the council on July 1. Two other state legislators -- Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield, D-Van Nuys, and Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Arleta -- claimed council seats during the March 5 primary.

Mike Bonin, chief of staff for outgoing Councilman Bill Rosendahl, was elected in March to replace his boss.

Meanwhile, in the San Fernando Valley-area's 6th District, former Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez finished atop a field of six candidates looking to fill the un-expired term of Tony Cardenas, who was elected to Congress in November.

But Montanez fell short of the 50 percent of the vote needed to claim the seat outright. She will have to square off in a July 23 runoff against second-place finisher Nury Martinez, a Los Angeles Unified School District board member.

The winner of that race will be the seventh new face -- and the only woman -- on the 15-member City Council.