California primary election day: LA County voter turnout low

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The L.A. County Registrar says as of Tuesday afternoon, we're on pace to break a record for low voter turnout.

On California's primary election day, voters weighed in on a number of races, including for governor, L.A. County supervisor, L.A. County sheriff and several congressional seats. But not a lot of people turned out to vote.

See California Primary Election Results

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk says voter turnout was very low throughout the day. Dean Logan with the registrar's office says, as of 7 p.m., the unofficial sampling of turnout was 14.69 percent of eligible voters. The polls closed at 8 p.m.

Governor's Race

As expected, Gov. Jerry Brown took the top spot in the governor's race. But there's a tight race for second between Republicans Neel Kashkari, more of a social moderate, and Tim Donnelly, more of a social conservative.

With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Brown was leading a large field of gubernatorial candidates with 55 percent of the vote. Kashkari had 18 percent and Donnelly had 15 percent.

"California has come a long way in the last few years. We've closed a massive budget deficit. We have good relations between the two parties," Brown told reporters Tuesday night. "Californians appreciate living within our means, managing the people's money, creating a rainy day fund, and just bringing a very common sense, 'get it done' kind of approach."

It's the first election for statewide office held under California's new primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance regardless of party affiliation.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Race

Jim McDonnell was leading the race for L.A. County sheriff. With 46 percent of precincts reporting, he had 47 percent of the vote. Paul Tanaka was a distant second with 15 percent of the vote, and Bob Olmsted was third with 10 percent. If McDonnell does not secure more than 50 percent of votes, then the top two contenders will face off in a runoff election in November.

McDonnell was a longtime assistant chief in the LAPD before taking over as chief of police in Long Beach. He was a latecomer to the race. It was a decision he made after Baca stepped down in January.

Tanaka, who is also mayor of Gardena, was once considered an early favorite. Tanaka's campaign had to overcome the fact that he is under investigation for allegedly obstructing an FBI investigation into inmate abuse at the county's downtown jails.

The L.A. County sheriff oversees the largest sheriff's department in the country, the largest county jail in the nation, and directly protects four million people. For the first time since 1998, Lee Baca is not running for sheriff. Many of his former deputies are running to replace him in a wide open race.

33rd Congressional District Race

Voters in the 33rd Congressional District will have their first truly open race in 40 years. Henry Waxman is retiring after four decades in office.

In one of the most unpredictable races in years, Republican Elan Carr was in the lead.

With 28 percent of precincts reporting, Carr had 22 percent of the vote and Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu had 20 percent. Former L.A. controller and city councilwoman Wendy Greuel was in third place with 17 percent.

A total of 18 candidates put their name on the ballot. The top two vote-getters will face off in November.

Los Angeles County Supervisors' Race

One of the more contested races is the one for Los Angeles County Supervisor in District 3 to replace Zev Yaroslavsky, who termed out after 20 years in office.

Sheila Kuehl, who spent 14 years in the state legislature, was in the lead Tuesday night. With 34 percent of precincts report, she had 37 percent of votes, Bobby Shriver had 30 percent, and John Duran had 15 percent.

"I think my experience chairing the House Committee, chairing the Natural Resources Committee, the Budget Committee, actually allows me to kind of hit the ground running if I'm elected...because I know a lot about the programs, the budget," said Kuehl.

Shriver, the former Santa Monica councilman and nephew of the late President Kennedy, visited a homeless shelter in Sun Valley on Monday. He says homelessness is one of his key issues.

"I think particularly for homeless people and homeless vet, some of whom you see here today, it's a very important change," said Shriver. "What the county should be doing to get housing services, and particularly mental health services, for this population is very, very important."

Duran, a West Hollywood councilman, was talking to voters at a coffee shop Monday afternoon. He was endorsed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. He says he is a pro-business social activist.

"I have this very interesting coalition of pro-business and moderate Democrats, coupled with Republicans and Independents and Latino voters across the district, and LGBT voters, and it's pulling all these different components together to give us enough votes to get past the primary tomorrow," said Duran.

The Los Angeles County supervisors oversee a $25 billion budget. Each supervisor represents 2 million people -- that's more than some governors. They oversee welfare programs, the sheriff's department and transit.


Proposition 41, the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act, passed, according to early results. It earned 66 percent of the votes with 10 percent of precincts reporting.

Prop 41 authorizes the redirecting of $600 million in general obligation bonds to help fund construction of rental housing for low-income veterans and their families across California.

Proposition 42, the so-called "public's right to know" measure, also passed with 60 percent of the votes and 10 percent of precincts reporting.

It's a constitutional mandate requiring local government agencies, including cities, counties and school districts, to comply with laws for providing public access to meetings and records of officials. Local governments would pay all costs of compliance.

See California Primary Election Results

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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