Tuesday’s elections in L.A. County delivered mixed results for business.
In races for two open seats on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, labor-backed candidates secured slots as front-runners.
Kathryn Barger, chief of staff to current termed-out Supervisor Michael Antonovich, emerged with almost 30 percent of the vote to replace him as supervisor by garnering broad labor support. Leading the race to oppose Barger in the November runoff is Darrell Park, a Democrat and former White House Office of Management and Budget staffer; but he was holding second place by a 500 vote margin with ballots still being tabulated. Republican pro-business candidate and L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander missed the runoff, coming in fifth.
Rep. Janice Hahn, D-San Pedro, who also had extensive labor backing, narrowly missed garnering an outright majority of voter support in her bid to replace termed-out Supervisor Don Knabe, ultimately pulling down about 47 percent of the vote. She will be opposed by Steve Napolitano, a Democrat and former councilman from Manhattan Beach.
Turning to ballot measures, tax hikes won the day. Nearly 60 percent of Long Beach voters favored sales tax increase that was heavily supported by Mayor Robert Garcia. The tax will go up a full percentage point for six years then drop a half-percentage point for another four years. Voters also approved school bond and parcel tax measures in Hermosa Beach, Long Beach, Montebello and Santa Clarita.
Elsewhere, bids by private sector companies did not fare well. In Pomona, voters narrowly rejected by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin a proposal by Long Beach sign company Bulletin Displays to set up a bid process for the right to build 10 digital billboards along the four freeways traversing the city. And Montebello voters also narrowly rejected by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin a proposal for the city to sell its water system to private operator San Gabriel Valley Water Co. for $14.4 million.
Also Tuesday, labor and affordable housing backers of a measure to require developers on projects with zone changes in Los Angeles to set aside units for low-income residents won certification for placement of the measure on the November ballot, as the Los Angeles City Clerk verified more than 100,000 signatures.
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