Final ballots tallied in LA County; Johnson still out of fall race
The last remaining ballots have been counted in Los Angeles County races in the June 5 election, officials said Friday, seemingly settling a razor-close contest for an Assembly seat in the San Fernando Valley.
With all 41,860 valid ballets tallied, charter schools executive Brian C. Johnson finished third -- by just 31 votes -- and is out of the fall competition for the 46th Assembly District. His campaign had no immediate comment Friday.
Under the state’s new "top two" elections system, all the candidates appear on a single ballot and only the first- and second-place primary finishers -- regardless of political party -- advance to the general election.
Johnson, who had strong financial backing by charter school advocates and was opposed by teachers unions, was one of five Democrats on the ballot. Adrin Nazarian, a top aide to L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian, came in first.
High school teacher Jay Stern, the only Republican on the ballot, came in second and will face Nazarian on Nov. 6 in the strongly Democratic district.
Johnson could seek a recount, but he would have to pay for it, and the likelihood of its changing the outcome is generally viewed as slim.
The outcomes held up in other close area Assembly races as well, according to election officials’ final update Friday.
Ian Calderon, scion of a prominent Democratic political family, edged out former Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez for a Whittier-area Assembly seat and will face Republican Noel James in the fall. Calderon’s uncle, former Democratic lawmaker Tom Calderon, earlier lost his chance to return to the Assembly in a neighboring district.
County officials said the Board of Supervisors plans to sign off on the election results Tuesday and send them to the secretary of state’s office.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: Election day June 5. Credit: Paul B. Southerland / Associated Press