Cheers and applause filled the chambers on Tuesday, April 11, when the City Council voted 11-1 to appoint Heather Hutt as the voting representative for Council District 10.
Hutt, who was immediately sworn into office, will complete the remainder of the term of former Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was convicted of federal corruption charges. She will serve until December 2024, when the term ends.
Responding with teary-eyed emotion to the crowd’s reaction, the councilwoman said, “It is an honor for me to serve the people of the 10th District. I just want to take a moment to thank my colleagues, council president and my friends and family, my staff, and the constituents of the 10th District.”
Of the 10th District, she said, “It is not an easy place to be, but with all the support that we get here, I’ll continue to do the work. I signed up to do the work and my mom raised us to work for our people. I just want to say thank you. And now I’m going to put my glasses on, and let’s get to work!”
Mayor Karen Bass was also among the well-wishers extending congratulations to Hutt. In a statement, Bass said, “I look forward to continuing to work with Councilmember Hutt to confront the critical issues facing Los Angeles like homelessness, public safety, and the overall livability of our city. Councilmember Hutt has a track record of exemplary public service and I know the people of the 10th City Council District will benefit from her continued leadership.”
While some people verbally opposed the appointment and called for a special election, the majority of the council were apparently swayed by Council President Paul Krekorian’s position that a special election was costly and ill-timed.
“A special election in the 10th would be multiple of millions of dollars, which is money that obviously could be much better spent on the urgent needs of the people of Los Angeles, rather than a special election,” Krekorian told the Sentinel last week, adding that October 2023 is the earliest that a special election could be held and the runoff, if necessary, in December, with the regular election already set for March 2024.
Hutt had been District 10’s temporary councilwoman until March 30, when Ridley-Thomas was convicted, and the seat became officially vacant. Krekorian immediately appointed Hutt as caretaker with the intention of asking the City Council on April 11 to appoint her to complete the term of Ridley-Thomas.
At Tuesday’s meeting, he said, “Heather Hutt has capably represented the district as the temporary appointee, and I am confident she will continue to do so as the permanent
“In a matter of months,” he added, “the people of the district will have the opportunity to decide whether they prefer to elect her or a different representative in the regularly scheduled election.”
Hutt has announced her intention to run for a full term in the 2024 election.
City News Service contributed to this report.