Carrillo, Lopez Lead 51st Assembly District Race

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Democrats Wendy Carrillo and Luis Lopez are the top two vote-getters so far among 13 candidates in the Oct. 3 primary for the 51st Assembly District.

Wendy Carrillo

Carrillo, a journalist, community activist and former congressional candidate, received 22 percent of the vote (4,771) as of Oct. 6 to Planned Parenthood director Lopez’s 18.8 percent (4,086). Since neither candidate received a majority of the vote, they are expected to face off in another special election on Dec. 5.

The winner will succeed former Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, who was elected to Congress to replace former Rep. Xavier Becerra, who was appointed California attorney general.

Gomez has endorsed Carrillo in the runoff. Her other endorsers include the California Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, State Sens. Connie Leyva, Nancy Skinner and Holly Mitchell, and Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher.

Lopez’s endorsers include Rep. Judy Chu, State Controller Betty Yee, State Sen. Anthony Portantino, former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, and Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz.

Luis Lopez

In third place was Los Angeles Community College Board member Mike Fong with 16.2 percent (3,515), followed by education attorney Gabriel Sandoval with 10.5 percent (2,278), community doctor Ron Birnbaum with 9.6 percent (2,090), and charitable foundation advisor Alex De Ocampo with 7.6 percent (1,643). All are Democrats.

Also running were Democrat David Vela with 4.7 percent (1,074), Democrat Mark Vargas with 4.4 percent (961), Libertarian Andrew Aguero with 1.8 percent (387), independent Patrick Koppula with 1.5 percent (316), Democrat Barbara Torres with 1.3 percent (277), Peace and Freedom candidate John Prysner with 1 percent (225), and Democrat Mario Olmos with 0.5 percent (118).

Turnout was low, according to the county, with only 9.9 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Another 1,295 ballots remain to be counted, and the next update is scheduled for Oct. 10.

The district includes Echo Park, Chinatown, Glassell Park, Montecito Heights, Monterey Hills, El Sereno, Highland Park, Mount Washington, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, Eagle Rock, East Los Angeles and a portion of Silver Lake.

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