Former Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna holds a significant lead in his bid to unseat Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. As of an update posted by the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on Nov. 10, Luna had 57.75% of the vote, while Villanueva trailed at 42.25%. The next updated vote tally is expected on Nov. 11.
In a statement on Nov. 9, Luna noted, “So far, the returns look good, and our campaign has a significant Lead. And I believe that as more votes are counted in the days ahead, I’ll continue to maintain a lead in this race. LA County voted for change, and if I’m elected sheriff, I’ll bring new leadership, accountability, and effective strategies to reduce crime.”
If successful, Luna will pull of the rare feat of unseating a sitting sheriff. The candidates ran a spirited campaign, with Luna attacking the incumbent over his contentious relationship with the county Board of Supervisors and accusing him of ignoring the issue of deputy gangs within the department.
Villanueva has deflected such criticism, saying his battles with the board show he is a fierce defender of the department and its deputies, and insisting that he has gone to great lengths to attack and ban alleged deputy cliques in the agency.
Villanueva’s victory four years ago came with strong backing from reform-minded community groups and Democrats. But over the past four years, Villanueva’s support among those groups has waned as he repeatedly clashed with the Democrat-dominated Board of Supervisors over funding and policy matters. He has also repeatedly defied subpoenas to appear before the Civilian Oversight Commission and refused to enforce the county’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate among his deputies and department employees.
City News Service