Battle for the badge

Battle for the badge

McDonnell to face Tanaka in November for LA County sheriff spot 

By André Coleman 06/04/2014

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Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell will face embattled former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka in November for the position of Los Angeles County Sheriff.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results released Wednesday morning showed McDonnell leading all candidates with 49.1 percent of the vote, with Tanaka running a distant second with 14.7 percent in the seven-man race.

McDonnell fell just short of the 50 percent plus 1 vote needed to win the seat outright. A victory for McDonnell in November would mark the first time in 100 years that voters elected a sheriff from outside the department. 

“The voters value a new set of eyes,” McDonnell said during a victory party held Tuesday night at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “I think the results show my message resonated with voters. It’s time for a fresh perspective.”

Tanaka is currently under investigation in connection with an ongoing federal probe of the county’s jail system. At a candidates’ forum moderated by the Pasadena Weekly in April, the other candidates said they placed some of the blame on Tanaka for problems plaguing the Sheriff’s Department in recent years. 

Longtime Sheriff Lee Baca retired in January after federal charges were filed against 18 deputies accused of a number of crimes, among them beating inmates and trying to obstruct the FBI in an investigation by hiding an inmate who had been ordered to appear before the federal grand jury in relation to the jail probe.

The new sheriff will head a nearly 18,000-person department with a $3-billion annual budget and more than 9,000 sworn deputies. 
In other election results, Gov. Jerry Brown, who picked up 55 percent of the vote, will face Republican challenger Neal Kashkari, who picked up only 15 percent of the vote Tuesday, in the November election. Kashkari beat out Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who came in third with 14.8 percent. 

In the California Primary Election system, the top two vote-getters — regardless of party — face off in the November General Election.
 
State Attorney General Kamala Harris cruised to victory for a second term, and former US Secretary of Labor and state legislator Hilda Solis garnered 70 percent of the vote to capture the District 1 seat on the Los Angeles County Supervisors. Solis will replace longtime Supervisor Gloria Molina. 
  
Former Pasadena City Council member Chris Holden ran unopposed for a second term in the state Assembly race. And in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, took 61.2 percent of the votes cast, compared to her opponent, Republican Jack Orswell, who took the remaining votes in the two-person race. 

Congressman Adam Schiff D-Burbank grabbed 74.9 percent of the vote and will face Steve Stokes, who doesn’t claim a party preference and took 17.6 percent of the vote in that contest. 

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