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Special Election Sought to Replace L.A. Councilman Headed to Congress

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Councilman Tony Cardenas has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. | Photo: Courtesy Office of Tony Cardenas.
Councilman Tony Cardenas has been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. | Photo: Courtesy Office of Tony Cardenas.

The City Council voted today in favor of scheduling a $400,000 special election for May 21 to replace City Councilman Tony Cardenas in the Sixth District, with a runoff, if necessary, on July 23.

Cardenas was elected November 6 to represent the Northeast San Fernando Valley in the House of Representatives. The council seat will become open after the congressman-elect officially resigns.

Cardenas is waiting for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk to certify the Nov. 6 election results before he submits his resignation letter, spokeswoman Connie Llanos said. Barring any delays in certifying the election, Cardenas will resign Jan. 2.

"While excited about Congress, the councilman still has plenty of city business to attend to before he leaves office,'' Llanos said.

City Clerk June Lagmay said in a report to the City Council that May 21 is the earliest date a special election can be held "to minimize the time the Sixth Council District would be without representation on the council, while still providing reasonable notice for prospective candidates to meet election residency requirements and organize their campaigns."

The council's vote today authorizes the City Attorney's Office to draft an ordinance to place the special election on the May 21 citywide general election, which is likely to include races for mayor, city controller, city attorney, and other city council seats.

The ordinance is expected to be come back to the full council for a final vote before Dec. 14.

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