Author: Carol

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe wins second term, Ridley-Thomas wins third

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe wins second term, Ridley-Thomas wins third

L.A. city voters sent conflicting messages, giving wins to both the left and the center.

In the end, they delivered victories to a pair of unlikely contenders in Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, the moderate Democrat who often votes with the Republicans, and the moderate Republican Mark Ridley-Thomas.

The two, who both run on a liberal, not a moderate base, won handily, giving Knabe a second term and Ridley-Thomas the first full term without the party backing of a rival.

Two years ago, Knabe was defeated by former state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) by a narrow 52 percent to 48 percent margin. But this time, he received 1,715,633 votes to Ridley-Thomas’ 1,624,619.

Knabe’s primary opponents were both in the left, populist camp that backed de Leon. They were Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky (D) and former state Assembly Speaker Pro-tem Mark Takano.

Takano was the anti-de Leon vote, finishing third. All three had been backed by the Democratic Party.

Takano told voters in an e-mail he wanted to end the dominance of the party on the County Board and bring more non-Democrats on board to work with the community. He also said he supported efforts to expand the Board’s jurisdiction over the county, including potential annexation of unincorporated areas.

“I agree with Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and his commitment to expanding the Board’s jurisdiction to include unincorporated areas,” Takano, now executive director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said in his voter guide.

“Our public lands need to be open and in our backyards,” he added. “Our community needs to have a full-time County Supervisor and a full-time County Board member.”

Takano’s campaign used polling data from a Field Poll commissioned by the LAF and the Institute for Research and Community Service at UCLA to show that Takano has the right combination of policy and support from his base on issues including campaign finance, homelessness and a $15/hour minimum wage.

“The issues that motivate voters, the ones that bring them out, are issues that we agree are the ones best suited to deal with the needs of our community,” Takano said.

The survey results were

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