Nury Martinez Wins L.A. City Council Seat in San Fernando Valley

Nury Martinez. | Photo: Courtesy Nury Martinez for City Council

Former Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nury Martinez defeated former Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez in Tuesday's special election to fill L.A.'s Sixth District City Council seat.

Martinez received 54.57 percent of the vote with all 63 precincts reporting and all vote-by-mail ballots counted, according to unofficial results released by the City Clerk's Office.

Martinez defeated Montanez, 4,917-4,093. Turnout was 10.22 percent.

Today is Election Day in the San Fernando Valley

Map of Los Angeles City Council District 6. | Image: Courtesy L.A. City ClerkSan Fernando Valley residents who have gone without a voice on the Los Angeles City Council for six months will choose between a school board member and a former assemblywoman in a special runoff election today.

Nury Martinez and Cindy Montanez are vying to replace Tony Cardenas, the former Sixth District councilman elected to the House of Representatives last November.

Montanez and Martinez were the top two vote-getters in the May 21 primary election, but neither obtained the more than 50 percent needed to win the seat outright, setting the stage for today's contest.

Gay Marriages Will Continue in California -- For Now

Many may not know that there is a still a legal battle raging over the fate of Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California back in 2008. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Protect Marriage, the proponents of Prop 8, did not have legal standing to appeal their case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, the ruling by the trial court became the final word on the constitutionality of Prop 8. Judge Vaughn Walker had struck down Prop 8, finding that it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Translation: same-sex marriages could resume after a more than four-year ban.

So why isn't this the end of the story?

No More Special Elections, Please! Here Are 2 Ideas to Avoid Them

Almost every time elected officials leave their posts early, there is a special election. The word special makes it sound like there is something to celebrate -- there is not. These "special" elections cost all of us time and money. And they may not be worth it.

On Tuesday, July 23 there will be two special elections in the California legislature and one in the city of Los Angeles. The first is a Senate race in the Central Valley, where Senator Michael Rubio resigned to go work for Chevron Corporation as a government affairs manager. The second legislature race is in the 52nd Assembly District. there, former Assemblywoman Norma Torres played some musical chairs and became a State Senator. In L.A., 6th district City Council member Tony Cardenas left for Congress.

Battle Over CA's Public Records Act Was Actually a Budget Deal

Photo: Zach Behrens/KCET

Some of you may have gotten whiplash following the latest kerfuffle over California's Public Records Act (CPRA).

First, as part of the budget deal it looked like there would be limited access to government documents. Why? Because the deal provided that the CPRA would be suspended, instead of paid for from state coffers. Specifically, the state is required to reimburse local agencies for the cost of compliance. The anticipated cost of the CPRA totals in the tens of millions of dollars.

L.A. Mayoral Runoff Election Had Lowest Voter Turnout in 100 Years

It was just as bad as expected. The voter turnout for the Los Angeles' May 21 election was 23.3 percent, the lowest in 100 years for a general election.

Councilman Eric Garcetti was elected mayor with 222,300 votes, which is less than any other non-incumbent mayor elected since the 1930s, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis. The numbers also represent just a little over 5 percent of the population of Los Angeles. The low enthusiasm has been blamed on the similarities between the candidates -- both Democrats supported by unions.

The election was also the most expensive Southland election season on record. Independent expenditure committees and candidates in city and LAUSD races racked up almost $54 million in expenses, according to Ethics Commission figures.

The previous record was set in 2001 by James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa. Candidates and outside groups at that time ran up $44.9 million in expenses, and voter turnout during the runoff was 37.67 percent .

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