The race to replace 2nd District Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, one of the tightest and most expensive in history, will head to a November run-off between State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas and L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks.
With all of the precincts reporting, Ridley-Thomas led Parks by over 6,700 votes (45 to 40 percent). However since Ridley-Thomas did not obtain the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win the majority, a run-off will be scheduled for November.
As Ridley-Thomas and his supporters gathered at the plush Sheraton Hotel near Los Angeles Airport, Parks and his supporters held a more informal gathering at his headquarters in the heart of the Crenshaw District where they watched the results and enjoyed refreshments in the back parking lot.
The mood was optimistic as the sounds from the stage soothed everyone from being anxious over the results. Young and old from every age and race came out to enjoy food, mingle with each other and hopefully celebrate as one when they heard the news.
Even as the results slowly trickled in, their energy never wavered as they shared with each other why they were here.
“With Parks, you have continuity and improvement of the services [as well as] redevelopment of the community,” said Franklin Moore.
And the evening reflected that as high-profile supporters such as City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilwoman Jan Perry shared the air with everyday people who clung to the promise of progress.
The councilman briefly addressed the crowd at 10:30 p.m. and surrounded by his wife, Bobbie and Supervisor Burke, he gave hope that all of their campaigning was not in vain.
“We know that we’ve had some uphill battles during the campaign,” Parks said, “They’ve thrown everything at us but the kitchen sink and we’re still here. They’ve spent five million dollars on the campaign and we’re still here.”
He referred to financial backing Ridley-Thomas has received from labor unions. In contrast, Parks reminded the crowd that he received his financial support the old fashioned way: “one dollar at a time from each and every one of you”
Parks then thanked the crowd for “the role you have played in this campaign” and briefly mingled with them before disappearing to watch the results. It has been a race closely marked by the prominent issue over the fate of King-Drew Medical Center and the wide range of support each candidate has received.
Both have received support from powerful bases as Ridley-Thomas is backed by the labor unions and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt while Parks has touted his support from politicians such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters and businessman (and Basketball Hall of Famer) Magic Johnson.