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Imelda Padilla declares victory in L.A. Council District 6 special election

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Imelda Padilla has defeated Marisa Alcaraz in the special election to fill District 6 City Council seat vacated by Nury Martinez's resignation.

"My journey as a champion for the northeast San Fernando Valley began when I was 15 years old and I joined the L.A. City Youth Council," Padilla said in a statement.

"That experience sparked a lifelong passion for organizing and serving the hard-working families, seniors and youth of the Valley. So, today truly feels like its has been 20 years in the making."

Friday's updated ballot results showed Padilla leading with 8,520 votes to Alcaraz's 6,751 -- a 55.79% to 44.21% margin in the race to fill the remainder of Nury Martinez' term, ending in December 2024.

Voter turnout based on semi-official results was 13.02%, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office.

Padilla is scheduled to take office sometime after the council returns from its three-week, July 7-28, summer recess.

However, Council President Paul Krekorian introduced a motion Friday afternoon seeking to appoint Padilla to the Sixth District seat while the election results are certified and declared, pursuant to the City Charter.

The council would consider the motion next week, prior to its summer recess.

"As we wait for the final results of this election to be certified, I feel incredibly encouraged by the semifinal official returns released Tuesday night and I am ready to serve as the next councilwoman for the communities of CD 6," Padilla said in a statement.

Padilla thanked her supporters, and further vowed to clean up the community, build more affordable housing, support small businesses, bolster public safety efforts and "make the Valley safe and prosperous for all to enjoy."

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, in a short meet-and-greet, welcomed Padilla to Friday's council meeting, saying she had the "great privilege of being joined today by who I know will be confirmed ... as the council member- elect for the Sixth District.

"It's unfortunate that so often people try to count out the women from the Northeast San Fernando Valley, but Imelda Padilla has demonstrated the tenacity, the grit and worth ethic that we know is born out of a legacy of a passion for service to our community," Rodriguez said.

The councilwoman recognized Padilla's victory comes as a result of "no shortage of hard work, of great passion and just authentic care and love for the community that raised both of us."

At noon Friday, Alcaraz issued a statement online via her social media channels conceding the race to Padilla.

The 38-year-old Alcaraz, who is deputy chief of staff and environmental policy director to Ninth District Councilman Curren Price, expressed her "deepest gratitude" to her family, friends and supporters for believing in her and her campaign.

"Winning is never a guarantee; nevertheless Team Alcaraz poured our hearts, sweat and soul into this race," Alcaraz wrote in a Facebook post. "We ran a robust, intentional and community-centered campaign that unfortunately fell short of the win.

"Regardless of the results, I'm glad that Council District 6 will finally have representation again and the district will have a voice on the council."

Alcaraz said she will "remain committed to my mission in giving my all to our working families no matter what capacity or the title I hold."

Padilla finished first in the April 4 primary with 25.65% of the vote but fell short of a majority, necessitating the runoff against Alcaraz, who was second in the seven-candidate field with 21.13%.

District 6 consists of Van Nuys, Arleta, Lake Balboa, Panorama City, Sun Valley and the eastern portions of North Hills and North Hollywood.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement to congratulate Padilla after her victory was officially announced. It said: "I want to congratulate Councilwoman-elect Padilla on her election to represent the people of the 6th City Council District. The Northeast San Fernando Valley will have a champion in City Hall and I look forward to working alongside the Councilwoman-elect to bring unhoused Angelenos inside and to make Los Angeles safer and more livable for all."

The council seat has been vacant since October, when Martinez first resigned her council presidency and then, two days later, her seat altogether after she was caught making racist comments in a meeting that was secretly taped and posted online.

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