L.A. County Sheriff Villanueva still trails Luna as a new round of election results released Friday afternoon suggest his lead over Republican Dan Hart is now statistically insurmountable.
On June 5, 2018, the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters announced that Hart finished the primary election with 54% of the vote, Luna with 35%, and Villanueva with 1%.
In the June 2017 runoff, Hart claimed the incumbent sheriff’s seat over Luna by only 2,400 votes. Hart, who is running for a second term, has now taken a lead that Villanueva’s campaign is unable to overcome.
Hart has not conceded.
Villanueva’s lead has grown to nearly 20,000 votes over Luna in the last week.
“Our campaign has spent millions of dollars to unseat Villanueva’s seat from his primary election in May, but the incumbent has refused to concede,” Hart’s campaign spokesman, Eric Jaye, said in a news release. “This means that the people of Los Angeles deserve the fair and honest election that was robbed by Villanueva when he ran as a Democrat but won under a Republican banner. The voters deserve a strong leader and one who will hold Villanueva accountable while providing the security to our residents that Villanueva has not.”
A statement released by Hart’s campaign confirmed the report that indicated Villanueva had a 1% lead going into the runoff.
“We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of this race,” Hart’s campaign spokesman added. “This campaign has spent millions of dollars to unseat Villanueva from his primary election, but his campaign refused to concede. The voters of Los angels deserve a strong leader and one who will hold Villanueva accountable while providing the security to our residents that Villanueva has not. Villanueva has refused to give up, despite not having a legal right to continue, and we plan to spend all of our spare cash to continue to unseat Villanueva in November regardless of the outcome.”
Villanueva’s campaign did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment late Thursday afternoon. In a tweet, Villanueva said that while he would not concede, “I continue to recognize the need for change.”
Villanueva had defeated Hart in the primary, but Hart has continued to