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Steve Lopez: Big money didn’t help Trutanich

June 6, 2012 |  9:08 am

Click for interactive map of California primary results

Steve LopezHe had big money ($1.5 million), far more than his opponents.

He had big endorsements (Gov. Jerry Brown, Sheriff Lee Baca, the Federation of Labor).

And he had big name recognition (Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich).

But Nuch, the L.A. city attorney who looked like a front-runner, appeared to get crushed Tuesday night in a bid for L.A. County district attorney.

With 100% of precincts reporting, Trutanich was trailing in third place by a margin of about 8,600 votes.

INTERACTIVE MAP: California primary results

What happened?

This was a contest for long-shot candidates everywhere to study. Low-profile L.A. County prosecutors Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson finished 1-2 to qualify for a runoff, with Trutanich pulling fewer than one-fourth of the total votes.

In yet another surprising development, the candidates acted like grown-ups for the most part during the campaign, with substantive dialogue about crime prevention.

All I can figure is that as city attorney, the two-fisted Trutanich has made more enemies than friends, too much of a thumper and not enough of a thinker. And he probably didn't help himself by trying to back out of a pledge, as a city attorney candidate, to donate $100,000 for an after-school program.

And then there was the pledge not to run for higher office if he became city attorney.

Enough voters were paying attention, I suppose. And Nuch might be feeling a lot better today if only he'd kept his promise.


Steve Lopez: Is Carmen Trutanich L.A.'s Mubarak?

Steve Lopez: L.A.'s kids deserve better from Trutanich

Lacey, Jackson poised for D.A. runoff; Trutanich running third

— Steve Lopez

Photo: Los Angeles County District Attorney Candidate Carmen Trutanich greets well wishers as they wait for election results. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times